Jennifer Aniston Wants To Be All Things To All People

1089268922 Jennifer Aniston Wants To Be All Things To All PeopleAbout Jennifer Aniston–you knew that she might, maybe, have been a Saturday Night Live cast member, unless she hadn’t, or that she always hated her iconic haircut. But the star is still at work grooming her public image, and doing so more assiduously than in years. Today brings a Zach Galifianakis interview on the web show Between Two Ferns–a common spot for celebrities to drop by, though the sight of Aniston getting upstaged by Tila Tequila is a new one. For a celebrity usually so controlling of her public image–every interview with a magazine, in past years, has borne a neatly wrapped new revelation–appearing with Tequila is a strange and unfamiliar decision. (The joke is on Aniston, and she’s in on it: could the actress be loosening up?)

So, too, is this week’s People cover, in which Aniston speaks to a magazine that usually disseminates gossip about her, revealing only… that she’s happy. Has the Brad and Angelina psychodrama run its course? Or is Aniston–who plays a part not the romantic lead, for the first time in recent memory after years of diminishing returns, in the upcoming Just Go With It–feeling the need to redefine herself in the crowded marketplace, not as the spurned wife who’s bravely making romantic comedies, but as the wacky, sunny supporting player? Unlike Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock, Aniston doesn’t have the option of reclusiveness: she’s too much, after years on TV, an everyday public figure not to have to keep selling herself, and finding new ways to do so. Aniston may yet be the most successful actress over 40 in Hollywood, and it’s not for lack of effort.

ddaddario@observer.com :: @DPD_