Justin Theroux is speaking out for the first time about his split from Jennifer Aniston, calling the breakup “heartbreaking,” yet “gentle.”
The 47-year-old actor and 49-year-old actress revealed in February that they had separated at the end of 2017 after two years of marriage and that they remain “best friends.”
“The good news is that was probably the most—I’m choosing my words really carefully—it was kind of the most gentle separation, in that there was no animosity,” Theroux told the New York Times in comments posted on Sunday.
“Again, neither one of us is dead, neither one of us is looking to throw hatchets at each other,” he later added. “It’s more like, it’s amicable. It’s boring, but, you know, we respected each other enough that it was as painless as it could be.”
Theroux said the split was “heartbreaking” but “only in the sense that the friendship would not be the same, as far as just the day to day.”
“But the friendship is shifting and changing, you know, so that part is something that we’re both very proud of,” he said.
Theroux said that because acting is “kind of a carny lifestyle” that involves frequent separations, his breakup with Aniston “doesn’t have that seismic shift of an ordinary couple, where everything is, like, you have to tear a baby in half.”
Aniston had talked about the breakup and the media scrutiny over it in an interview with InStyle magazine several weeks ago.
“The misconceptions are ‘Jen can’t keep a man,’ and ‘Jen refuses to have a baby because she’s selfish and committed to her career.’ Or that I’m sad and heartbroken,” she said. “First, with all due respect, I’m not heartbroken. And second, those are reckless assumptions.
Aniston, an L.A. native, and Theroux, who grew up on the East Coast and lives in New York, had wed at their Los Angeles home and lived in the city through most of their marriage.
A source had told E! News earlier this year that the two actors “fell in love hard and fast and yet they were never really suited to one another,” adding, “He was a New York hipster that loved the alternative lifestyle and Jennifer was living a much more reclusive life when they first started to fall in love.”
“Life there is a very gate-to-gate, garage-to-garage, car-to-car, and that’s just for anybody,” Theroux told the New York Times about Los Angeles. “There is this kind of hermetic seal that’s placed around you.”
“For me, at least, it can very quickly turn you into a house cat,” he added, “in that you’re perceiving what’s going on around you through panes of glass: your windshield, your driver’s side door, your rearview mirror.”
He said that in New York, “the minute you shut your door behind you, you’re out in it.”
In May, another source told E! News that Theroux was “casually dating.” When asked by the New York Times if he was seeing someone, the actor asked, “Is this the part where I coyly raise an eyebrow and not answer the question?”