I met Jen (don’t roll your eyes at me — that’s what we call her) in my kitchen about six years ago when my husband, Jimmy [Kimmel], and I invited our friend Justin [Theroux] over for pizza with his new girlfriend. At first I was a bit starstruck that Rachel Green was standing near my bananas. She was wearing black jeans, a black tank top, and wedge sandals, and she smelled like vacation. But my nerves faded as soon as she hugged me, pulled a lime off our tree for her vodka rocks, and dissected The Bachelor. I was expecting pretension (that’s on me). I got authenticity and real connection. She was immediately warm, like an old friend. She’s magnetic like that. No boundaries, no bullshit, and a lot of laughing.

MOLLY MCNEARNEY: I want to start this interview off light. When are you getting back together with Brad? Did Justin ever wear your jeans? And when are the twins due?

JENNIFER ANISTON: [laughs] You’re the only person who could start an interview like that and actually send me into hysterics, not hives.

MM: Well, I admire your ability to remain poised and balanced even while others desperately try to tell your story for you. How do you do it?

JA: There are definitely moments of not being balanced and poised, but I do that all in my own personal space. For the most part I can sit back and laugh at the ridiculous headlines because they have gotten more and more absurd. I guess they’re feeding into some sort of need the public has, but I focus on my work, my friends, my animals, and how we can make the world a better place. That other stuff is junk food that needs to go back in its drawer.

InStyle September - Jennifer Aniston - Lead - 6
Credit: Ben Hassett/The Lindsay Thompson Company. Givenchy top. Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet (top). Bulgari bracelet.

MM: What is the biggest misconception about you?

JA: Oh, boy, there are so many. Let’s see. I’ll just Google myself and find out. [starts typing] Oh, look, I’m having a $100,000 revenge makeover!

MM: I didn’t want to say anything, but you really need one. But wow, the tabloids are relentless.

JA: It’s pretty crazy. The misconceptions are “Jen can’t keep a man,” and “Jen refuses to have a baby because she’s selfish and committed to her career.” Or that I’m sad and heartbroken. First, with all due respect, I’m not heartbroken. And second, those are reckless assumptions. No one knows what’s going on behind closed doors. No one considers how sensitive that might be for my partner and me. They don’t know what I’ve been through medically or emotionally. There is a pressure on women to be mothers, and if they are not, then they’re deemed damaged goods. Maybe my purpose on this planet isn’t to procreate. Maybe I have other things I’m supposed to do?

MM: What about Friends? Will Friends ever come back?

JA: Before that show ended, people were asking if we were coming back. Courteney [Cox] and Lisa [Kudrow] and I talk about it. I fantasize about it. It really was the greatest job I ever had. I don’t know what it would look like today, but you never know. So many shows are being successfully rebooted. I know Matt LeBlanc doesn’t want to be asked that question anymore. But maybe we could talk him into it. Or we just give it some time and then Lisa, Courteney, and I could reboot The Golden Girls and spend our last years together on wicker furniture.

Click here to read InStyle's full interview with Jennifer Aniston. For more stories like this, pick up the September issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download Aug. 10.