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Jennifer Aniston frankly declares the one thing she'll never do in an audition: 'It's very uncomfortable'

The Friends star reacted to Anne Hathaway's own uncomfortable confession about intimate auditions

Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
May 29, 2024
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Jennifer Aniston sat down with several other Hollywood heavyweights for a new edition of The Hollywood Reporter's Roundtable to discuss the experiences and journeys of women in TV.

The actress, 55, is currently one of the reigning dramedy stars thanks to her acclaimed turn in Apple TV+'s The Morning Show, and joined the likes of Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Anna Sawai, and more.

During their conversation, they discussed a recent confession made by Anne Hathaway in an interview with V Magazine in which she revealed that for an audition back in the 2000s, she was asked to make out with 10 guys for a chemistry reading.

When asked how the stars felt about that, Nicole joked: "To be excited to make out with someone? I think maybe secretly I've been excited."

Jennifer candidly shared her own experience, thankfully revealing that her auditions had never really gotten to that point while delivering her own non-negotiable. "I haven't been told you're going to have to lay down and [simulate]…And if asked, I would never."

The other women in the room (the talk also included Sofia Vergara, Jodie Foster, and Brie Larson) opened up about the impossible task of chemistry readings, calling it out as a flawed practice that often didn't really provide a true indication of "chemistry" between actors.

anne hathaway valentino haute couture paris fashion week 2023© Getty Images
The women of THR's Roundtable discussed chemistry reads, spurred on by Anne Hathaway's recent confession about the subject

Nicole explained that a lot of times, those aspects can be built through lighting, script, camerawork, and good direction, with the Friends star also adding that auditions weren't necessarily the most calming space to begin with.

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"When you're in an audition room, you're already at a disadvantage," Jennifer explained. "Maybe you'd have chemistry with this person if you were in a different environment and not, like, 'Create chemistry. Ready? Go!'" 

Jennifer Aniston speaks onstage at the 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall on February 24, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.© Getty Images
Jennifer stated that she "would never" comply to being asked to simulate in an audition

Looking back at her own decades-long career, she continued: "And I'm a terrible auditioner, always was. I waitressed forever before I could finally get something, which was a Bob's Big Boy commercial." 

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"So, if you're a nervous auditioner to begin with, to then say, 'Now let's have you make out with a complete stranger,' it's very uncomfortable."

Jennifer Aniston attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 07, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.© Getty Images
"If you're a nervous auditioner to begin with, to then say, 'Now let's have you make out with a complete stranger,' it's very uncomfortable."

Naomi also spoke about the process for auditioning for her breakout film, Mulholland Drive (2001), saying: "Some people are really good at auditioning, but I was shockingly bad too." 

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"I could feel the energy in the room where people were like, 'Hurry this along.' I'd even go, 'Yeah, don't worry, I'm out of your way in one second. You don't even have to look me in the eye and shake my hand.'" 

Naomi Watts in an embellished Elie Saab gown © Getty Images
Naomi Watts opened up about her own audition process for "Mulholland Drive"

"It took meeting David Lynch, who's a master of filmmaking, and he just sat and talked to me [for Mulholland Drive]. He said, 'Tell me about yourself.' And I fell into it, this conversation. I was like, 'Wait, really? You want to take time with me? You want to know [expletive] about me and how I was raised and all of that?' And then I got the job. I didn't even have to audition."

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