Justin Theroux received “sage advice” from Jason Bateman when he started dating Jennifer Aniston.
The Leftovers star admitted the attention he received from being in such a high-profile relationship was very new to him but his friend told him to think of stories written about them as simply being about “characters” in a “little soap opera” and to try not to get drawn into any drama.
Asked if the attention was a shock to the system, he told Sunday TODAY host Willie Geist: “Yeah, I think part of me was like, you know, I’m essentially sort of a character actor and a writer, there’s not much there.
“Jason Bateman actually once gave me one of the most sage pieces of advice ever when all that was kind of going on.
“And he said, ‘Look, in that side of the entertainment industry, a character is about to be born and that character is you, but it’s not you. That character is, you know, angry, that character has got a problem, that character is, you know, sweet. It’s just this little soap opera that gets written in the margins.’ And he said, ‘And so my advice is, don’t follow that guy’s storyline.'”
The 49-year-old star began dating the Friends actress in 2011 and they tied the knot in 2015. They separated in late 2017.
Theroux is grateful for the advice from Bateman because it helped him to stay “sane”.
He added: “It was a good piece of advice because I stuck to it. And that’s the only way you can sort of keep sane and all that.”