We all know “that guy.” You know, the one who either shows up to your party with a 6-pack of artisanal beer that he makes you elaborately store in your fridge instead of the cooler, and insists on a special mug because “it just tastes better this way” and yet somehow even though there’s 30 people at the party, the only two who manage to try any of the fancy beer is “that guy” and the age-inappropriate lady he’s talking to; or he shows up with nothing and a shrug and tells you he got busy but “he’ll make it up to you.” He never does.
Justin Theroux is that guy.
Theroux sat down with The New York Times, for his first one-on-one interview with any publication since his split with Jennifer Aniston. Since this is the good stuff, we’ll lead with his quotes:
“The good news is that was probably the most — I’m choosing my words really carefully — it was kind of the most gentle separation, in that there was no animosity,” he said, neither defensive nor bitter. “In a weird way, just sort of navigating the inevitable perception of it is the exhausting part.” … “Again, neither one of us is dead, neither one of us is looking to throw hatchets at each other,” he said. “It’s more like, it’s amicable. It’s boring, but, you know, we respected each other enough that it was as painless as it could be.”
Now that that’s out of the way, I read the entire profile, entitled “Justin Theroux is on the Prowl” and it was just…exhausting. With passages like this, you’ll understand why:
Mr. Theroux is an ironist by nature, and his instincts tilt toward the meta.
Did I mention it’s hot? Even so, Theroux refuses to wear shorts, and insists on wearing black jeans and boots for some weird reason known only to himself.
Mr. Theroux does not wear shorts, even on days when the denim clings to your thighs like paint. “We all have a uniform,” he said.
I now like to picture him, on the beach, in his uniform, saying his mantra repeatedly, quietly to himself through gritted teeth as sweat invades his every pore: “I. Do. Not. Wear. Shorts. This. Is. My. Uniform.” Finally, when the heat gets the best of him, he goes for a swim in the ocean. As he emerges, he embraces that cool, refreshing feel of wet jeans on his legs, safe in the knowledge that he’s in his uniform.
Shorts, like sincerity, are the enemy, we know that now.
He has dinner at an Italian restaurant, unfortunately with Pajiba hot stuff Cary Joji Fukunaga (why Cary, WHY?) described as “the impossible-to-get-into pasta temple.” Um, ok. I live in LA, I’m well acquainted with obnoxious restaurants, but this is just… a lot. He’s also a guy that specifically requests a certain amount of limes in his double vodka soda, “three limes (never two, never four)” because we all know dirty, unwashed fruit in your alcohol needs to meet a certain requirement. I wonder if he would accept two abnormally large lime wedges instead of three. Probably not.
Perhaps his penchant for limes in his alcohol comes from his days as a bartender. We become privy to this because not only is his humble past mentioned multiple times, our boy Justin made sure to take the author of the article by his old bar (no mention of the dog, I hope he was sent home to take a nap by then.) Because that’s definitely something you do when you’re trying to show the world that you’re no longer Mr. Jennifer Aniston, A-lister, that you’re still the same dude you were when you were guest-starring, twice, on Sex and the City.
Is this all standard stuff in a celebrity profile? Yes, absolutely. So why am I treating this as if Justin himself put a wad of tinfoil in my mouth and made me chew on it? These passages, right here:
So excuse him if he wants to have a little fun with the news media when the news media comes buzzing at his door on a late-summer afternoon. He joked about making the article a parody of the fish-out-out-of-water celebrity profiles of the 1990s, in which a journalist and a movie star would play, say, laser tag in Times Square.
“Let’s do something really touristy,” Mr. Theroux said, whipping out his iPhone and Googling “tourist activities NYC.” Before long, we struck on a plan: to wander through his old haunts on the Lower East Side, then hit the Statue of Liberty.
“It will be ‘fish out of water,’” he said, “in my own fishbowl.’
I just, can’t. The whole profile reads like this—we learn nothing about Theroux, his newest project, Maniac (with Cary Joji Fukunaga, so hopefully their pasta play-date was a professional one), or generally anything other than Theroux is a cool guy, who does things ironically and has cool guy friends like Alexander Skarsgård and a nightlight impresario. Which, ok, that’s a bit boring, but the whole piece comes off as the written equivalent of the “Playing With the Boys” volleyball scene in Top Gun. It’s the smarmy way Theroux is painted as being “authentic” and his life with Jennifer Aniston as being a blip in his cool guy persona. FYI, this dude wrote Tropic Thunder in 2008. Well before his Aniston years.
One of the headers in the piece is “No Longer a Housecat.” Which is a direct response to his take on the difference between LA and NYC—the not-so-subtle implication being that since he’s no longer married to an LA-based woman, he’s free to roam and get out. She was what was holding him back, and now he’s able to go back to the indie and leave the mainstream behind. Yuck.
Look, I’m all for Theroux being an indie darling, but let’s not forget the third credit in his résumé is Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (a magical movie above reproach, but definitely a major studio release.) He’s always been on the outskirts of the mainstream, and has actively pursued roles in that direction (Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, anyone?) Let’s not forget, as our own Roxana pointed out, that he wrote that critical indie favorite…Iron Man 2 in 2010. A year before he started dating Aniston.
Justin Theroux may not be “that guy” but he certainly was in that New York Times profile today.
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