Jennifer Aniston is getting candid about her late mother. The actress’ new Netflix film, Dumplin’, will be released on Friday, Dec. 7, and in the film, Jen plays a former pageant queen whose plus-size daughter enters a competition to influence the common beauty standards. And in a new interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Jen described how the film’s plot echoes her relationship with her late mother, Nancy Dow.
When asked if there are parallels between Jen and Nancy and characters Rosie and Willowdean Dickson, she replied, “Where do we start?” The 49-year-old continued, “One of the reasons I really loved the mother-daughter aspect of it was because it was very similar in a way to what my mother, and our relationship, was.”
Jen went on to describe the similarities between the two. “She was a model and she was all about presentation and what she looked like and what I looked like,” she confessed. “I did not come out the model child she’d hoped for and it was something that really resonated with me, this little girl just wanting to be seen and wanting to be loved by a mom who was too occupied with things that didn’t quite matter.”
This isn’t the first time Jen has opened up about her mother, who died in 2016 after battling a long illness. “She was very critical of me,” she said. “Because she was a model, she was gorgeous, stunning. I wasn’t — I never was. She was also very unforgiving. She would hold grudges that I just found so petty.” She admitted therapy helped save her. “It takes a lot of therapy, but you do absolutely get over it.”
That said, the Friends alum is proud of the movie’s purpose. “This movie is so special because it is about stripping away those preconceived notions of beauty, trying to become individuals and not feeling that we have to live up to some unrealistic ideal that society is feeding up to us,” Jen said. “My idea of beauty is, is what makes you feel beautiful and what makes me feel beautiful is the people around me, the life that I have. And maybe a good hair day.”