LOS ANGELES-- --As most people with access to even rudimentary technology - smoke signals, telegraph - have already heard, Jennifer Aniston separated from husband Brad Pitt back in January 2005 and promptly turned around and signed on for a not-so-romantic comedy titled The Break-Up.
"Well, yeah, it's pretty ironic," Aniston says now, when the subject is broached. "You know, at the time it was something I thought about. You know, you kind of can't believe when I first got the call that a movie called The Break-Up is coming. I sort of laughed and thought 'That's funny.' And then sure enough, it was. I kind of found it like a sign or something to do it. Because, it was, in a way, a cathartic thing."
In the film, Aniston and Vince Vaughn play a couple who go through an ugly breakup but can't bear to give up the comfortable Chicago apartment they share.
"I felt very lucky in a way that it came to me," Aniston reflects. "If this had come to me at any other time in my life I don't know if I would have been able to get it for myself on that level as I would have wanted to as an actor."
While the situation was probably more of an unfortunate coincidence than an example of true irony, Aniston can be forgiven, especially since she wasn't the only one waxing all Alanis Morissette on the state of affairs.
"The irony wasn't lost on any of us that we were shooting a movie called The Break-Up as she was very publicly going through a breakup," declares director Peyton Reed, best known for the cheerleading epic Bring It On. "Obviously, that was in no way why we cast her. We cast her because she's Jennifer Aniston and she's amazing."
Reed corroborates the frequently told tale that despite the scent of misconstrued irony in the air, his star's domestic difficulties had no impact on the set.
He explains, "I'd go to the grocery store and I'd see some tabloid about something that was going on, and if I hadn't gone to the grocery store and just gone to work, I would never have known that anything was going on."
If the scuttlebutt is to be believed - and neither star is eager to offer specifics - in addition to forming a professional partnership on The Break-Up, Aniston and Vaughn found romance on the set as well. Certainly in light of her recent past and her film, Aniston has a decent sense of the kind of collaborative romantic relationships she would want in the future.
"What would be the art of collaborating?" she muses. "I think just talking, saying what you need, saying what you want, so it's not a threat to the other person, but that you're simply saying, 'This matters to me.' I think people expect people to read minds and if your mind doesn't get read you get [angry] about it and then the other person thinks 'Well, I'm not gonna read your mind if you're gonna get [angry] about it.' It's all just silly human games, nature."