Greek-American actress Jennifer Aniston responded to the accusation that she “chose her career over having kids” amongst other topics in an in-depth interview with the Hollywood Reporter published on Thursday.
Aniston addressed the darker side of her decades-long success in the entertainment industry, specifically the tabloids’ tendency to spin her private life into sensationalist headlines. Aniston reflected on the insensitivity of such stories, which, in her case, lingered almost obsessively on the question of her fertility and whether or not she was having children:
“Although I haven’t seen a tabloid in so long. Am I still having twins? Am I going to be the miracle mother at 52?” Aniston said, making light of a tabloid rumor that has plagued her for years. But the star admitted that brushing these stories off has not always been easy:
“I used to take it all very personally — the pregnancy rumors and the whole ‘Oh, she chose career over kids’ assumption,” she said. “It’s like, ‘You have no clue what’s going with me personally, medically, why I can’t … can I have kids?’ They don’t know anything, and it was really hurtful and just nasty.”
The 52-year-old actress noted the rampant double standards in the media’s treatment of women without children compared to bachelors, “Men can be married as many times as they want to. They can marry (younger) women in their 20s or 30s. Women aren’t allowed to do that.”
Aniston has fought off tabloid scrutiny over her fertility for over 15 years. Popular headlines speculated for years if she was pregnant with twins or if Brad Pitt had left her because she “chose her career over kids,” and “refused” to start a family with him. The star has since spoken out about the harmful, misleading, and reductionist assumptions that underpin such stories.
Jennifer Aniston’s Greek roots
The Greek-American “Friends” star’s father, John Aniston, was born Yiannis Anastasakis in Chania, Crete but moved to the US as a very small child. Like many Greek immigrants to America, he decided to shorten his name, going from Anastasakis to Aniston.
John Aniston is most famous for playing a Greek character, Victor Kiriakis, on the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”
His father, Antonios Anastasakis, was born in 1889 the village of Pervolakia, near Chania, on Crete.
A group of genealogists working for Greek Ancestry have traced Aniston’s Greek roots back to the 19th century, discovering that her great-grandfather actually fought in the Cretan Revolt against the Ottomans in 1878.
The team was able to access this information from the village’s “Male Register,” which was an important document stating the name, father’s name, birth date, and place of birth for every male in the village.
The Male Register was used to keep track of all men in the area for military purposes, so it is an incredibly useful document for those looking to explore their family history.
Greek Ancestry holds an extensive collection of Male Registers from many areas in Greece. Their collection spans the early nineteenth century through to the early twentieth century.
Antonios, Aniston’s grandfather, had three brothers who were also listed in the village’s Male Register, Eleftherios, Stavros, and Andreas. Using information from this register, genealogists from Greek Ancestry discovered the name of Antonios’ father, Ioannis Anastasakis, who was born in 1858.