‘I needed therapy’ Jennifer Aniston opens up about her damaging relationship with her mum

She's facing up to things

November 18 2018

Jennifer Aniston spent years desperate for her mum to show her love during an incredibly tough childhood.

The former Friends star – who broke off all communication with her mother Nancy Dow for years – says she went to therapy to try to deal with the toxic relationship that has affected her whole life.

Speaking to WHO, the twice-divorced actress, who stars as a mum in the new movie Dumplin’, admits she spent her childhood desperate for her mum to show her affection and interest.


Nancy Dow/Getty

Nancy Dow/Getty


‘One of the main reasons I wanted to play Rosie (the mum in Dumplin') was because this was a similar relationship in a way to my mother and so it really resonated,’ she revealed.  ‘It was really about this little girl wanting to be seen and wanting to be loved and a mum who was too occupied with just the things that didn’t quite matter but she didn’t really know any better.’

But she reveals that after going through therapy she has learned that her mother’s behaviour was nothing to do with her – and that's an important step in overcoming a traumatic childhood. 

‘It takes a lot of therapy, but you do absolutely get over it. That was her projection. It had nothing to do with me,' Jennifer said. 


Jennifer Aniston/Getty

Jennifer Aniston/Getty


Jen’s mum died aged 79 in 2016 but their relationship was fractious and there were many periods when Jen cut her out of her life.

"She was critical. She was very critical of me,’ Jennifer told The Hollywood Reporter back in 2015. ‘Because she was a model, she was gorgeous, stunning. I wasn't. I never was. I honestly still don't think of myself in that sort of light, which is fine. She was also very unforgiving. She would hold grudges that I just found so petty."

She added, "She had a temper. I can't tolerate that. If I get upset, I will discuss [things]. I will never scream and get hysterical like that. [But] I was never taught that I could scream. One time, I raised my voice to my mother, and I screamed at her, and she looked at me and burst out laughing. She was laughing at me [for] screaming back. And it was like a punch in my stomach."