16 years ago, the marriage of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt exploded to general amazement. And for good reason, the actor had succumbed to Angelina Jolie on the set of the film Mr & Mrs Smith. On the occasion of the release of the special episode of Friends on Salto, we take a look back at a love triangle that has made Hollywood and the whole world in love.
Long before Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie became the “Brangelina”, they were lovers. At the time of their meeting, the actor was indeed spinning the perfect love with Jennifer Aniston, which we find in the reunion of Friends, online on the Salto platform this Thursday, May 27. Jen Even though they have progressed in their life and in their career, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may have separated in 2016, the trio continues to fascinate. As long as the “Brangelina” try to manage the education of their six children, the press wants to believe in a reconciliation. Even if it is just as enough that Jennifer Aniston meet her ex-husband on a red carpet again for them to be said to be ready to start all over together. As if Brad Pitt’s heart should remain torn between the two actresses. Return on a love triangle which marked the star-system.
That day the heart of America broke. On January 7, 2005, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, Hollywood’s most glamorous and sexy couple, separated after ten years of almost perfect love. The news sounded like a bombshell, but it was only the formalization of a situation that has become untenable for several months. It took all the denial of which Hollywood proprieties are capable to refuse to see the truth in the face: the “Angelina factor”, nickname given by the American press to the explosive phenomenon that followed the meeting of Pitt and Jolie on the shooting of Mr & Mrs Smith, at the end of 2003, had accomplished its work of destruction with implacable perfection.
During this interminable period, and until the official pronunciation of the divorce in October 2005, was formed a strange love triangle around which rumors, media operations and drama were unleashed as in a melodrama with a hackneyed staging. At the casting, Jennifer Aniston, the star of Friends, who became America’s little bride, in the role of the sacrificial victim. At his side, two lovers orchestrating, with a diabolical art of the unsaid and the evasive, a story soon too cumbersome to be concealed.
Despite the predictions of a psychic, Jennifer Aniston did not want to see the danger
Everything starts in November 2003. Director Doug Liman begins long-postponed filming of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, a romantic action comedy in which Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play a married couple of hired killers who find themselves, by chance, in charge of eliminating each other. The filmmaker, who wants to create sexual tension between the two stars, tries a bet: from the first scene, Brad and Angelina are seated side by side, facing a marriage counselor. “They don’t really know each other. They are embarrassed. It immediately catches the eye that there is a deep affinity between them “, will summarize later Liman, quite proud of his stroke of poker.
Jennifer Aniston, reassured by the fact that her husband is turning a few kilometers from their villa in Malibu, has she overlooked the danger? Faye, the celeb clairvoyant she consults regularly, correctly predicted that Angelina was a ” black Angel “, but Aniston is then too busy launching her career in the cinema to measure what awaits her. The only time her path crosses Angelina’s, the carefree will even wish him “To have a lot of fun” with her husband! As Brad prepares to celebrate his 40th birthday in December, fate seems sealed. Four years after their marriage with great pomp, Pitt and his wife are at a crossroads in their respective careers. Jen, addicted to work, multiplies the shoots. The handsome Midwestern kid only thinks of starting a family and dreams of new horizons.
Angelina Jolie’s son Maddox whets Brad’s fatherhood cravings
We now know that the adulterine bond was largely cemented by Brad’s affection for Maddox, Angelina’s adopted son, often present on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith. These moments of complicity, between two takes, bring the actors even closer together and, despite their categorical denials, fuel the rumor of an affair. Part of 2004 thus boils down to a threesome, whose issues are difficult to disentangle. As the filming drags on and its two heroes are less and less hesitant to conceal their attraction (especially during a sensual dance scene extended long after the “Cut! “ of the director), a few breaks allow them to give the illusion that they are going about other occupations. “Neither of them will ever admit it, but it looked like they had sealed some kind of pact “, summarizes Andrew Morton in his unauthorized biography of Angelina Jolie, published in 2010.
As Angelina travels around the world as an ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Brad parades alongside Jennifer, from New York to Cannes, to present the film. Troy. We will still see the couple in Rome exchanging moments of complicity during the filming ofOcean’s Twelve… However, when that of Mr. & Mrs. Smith resumed in August 2004, everything is accelerating. In October, as the film crew moved to the Amalfi Coast, Pitt and Jolie no longer hesitate to share the same sequel with Maddox or to coo during their public appearances. Jennifer Aniston, for her part, seems to have resigned herself to the possibility of the worst. In London, where she shoots the thriller Derailed, it multiplies the evenings watered in the trendy clubs of the city or in its suite, at the Dorchester Hotel, throughout the fall. Brad’s visit to the English capital for promotion from Ocean’s Twelve is not pretext for no privacy.
Upon their return to Los Angeles (on different flights!), the spouses cancel for mysterious reasons the big birthday party planned for the forty-one years of Brad. It must be said that the “Angelina factor” now poisons until the rare moments when Pitt and Aniston find themselves face to face. Besides the gossip that surges, Angelina’s repeated phone calls to Brad and Jennifer’s home (including a session of “Phone sex” hastily interrupted) and the actor’s continual allusions to his acting partner (whose humanitarian commitments he admires) have long shaken the stability of the couple. In an interview with Vanity Fair Italian, Brad hints at the possibility of a separation (“I am not sure that staying with a person all his life is part of our nature”), while insisting on his desire to have children as soon as possible. At the same time, very oddly, Angelina Jolie has just been refused the adoption of a second son in Russia …
On returning from a last trip to the tropics, Brad and Jennifer announce a “friendly” separation
Nothing seems to fit in this threesome that does not say its name. Some relatives try to deny the obvious, such as Brad’s mother, Jane, who gives Aniston a ring marked with a “P” on December 25, 2004. The Pitt couple resolve to spend New Year’s Day on Anguilla Island with their loved ones, Courteney Cox and David Arquette. But this trip is not a honeymoon or a new beginning: less than a week later, on the famous January 7, 2005, the break was made official. How can we justify such a loving masquerade extending over more than a year? One explanation could lie in the fact that Brad and Jennifer’s estate amounted to more than 225 million euros (with, among others, four residences, a yacht that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor and a lush production company, Plan B).
Claiming that their separation was the fruit of a long reflection and that they remained friends – to the point of throwing a big party for Jennifer’s birthday on February 11 or showing off together at parties leading up to the Oscars – the Pitt couple would have no more and no less preserved their financial interests. Less convinced by these stories of calculations than by remorse felt by the unfaithful husband, Andrew Morton quotes a psychologist close to the three protagonists: “Brad was targeted by Angelina. But he was bored with Jen, he was tired of seeing her so dependent and to carry it at arm’s length. “
By the time the divorce proceedings were initiated by Aniston in March, Pitt and Jolie just had to formalize their relationship. They did so by letting themselves be photographed with Maddox on a Kenyan beach in April, then parodying an average American family in the pages of W magazine in July. That same month, they welcomed little Zahara, Ethiopian baby saved from death. Less than a year later, Shiloh, their first biological child, joined their blended family … “I would never sleep with a married man”, Angelina swore, in 2004. By removing her wedding ring every morning on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Brad Pitt made sure, it is true, that they did not transgress anything. In appearance, at least …
Text by Vincent Malausa
This article was originally published in Gala magazine # 1155 dated July 29, 2015.
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