Justin Theroux doesn’t really fit into the image many people have of him.
In the new issue of Rolling Stone, the “Mosquito Coast” star talks about his career, the tabloid coverage of his marriage to Jennifer Aniston, and more.
Looking back on his early years as a stage actor, the 49-year-old remembers being typecast in “brooding hunk” roles.
“I’d get auditions in my 20s and it was: Enter guy, he grabs woman by the hips, tells her he loves her, leans over, gives her passionate kiss,” he says. “It was like climbing a waterslide: There was nothing to attach to. I kept thinking, I don’t know how to do this. That’s not my fucking wheelhouse.”
Talking about his marriage and subsequent divorce from Aniston, the actor says, “In ideal circumstances, you’re known for what you do, or for the contributions you make in the arts, literature, movies, whatever. Even if it’s a negative review, OK — that’s fair play. But there are people who are only curious about the private lives of other people, and…I think the best thing to do is to train your eyes away from it. It creates a preconceived notion of who you are that’s inaccurate…It’s just one of those weird things. Ideal circumstances: People are paying attention to your work. Imperfect circumstances: People only give a s**t about your private life.”
Theroux also talks about gravitating towards roles in which he gets to play troubled men.
“Complicated men are great to play. Maybe it’s a lead, maybe it’s a supporting part, whatever. I like complicated,” he says. “Someone like [‘The Leftovers”] Kevin Garvey — he was so tortured, and that’s what made it so fun and so cathartic. It’s the same with [‘The Mosquito Coast’ protagonist] Allie Fox. He’s not an easy person. He’s not an easy character. He’ll be loathed by the audience at times and loved by others. But that’s what I like about him. That’s the line I want to find.”
While being a successful actor, Theroux has also dipped his toes in screenwriting, lending his efforts to such films as “Tropic Thunder” and “Iron Man 2”, but it’s been several years since he’s written a script.
“The actor is the waiter that brings the meal, the writer is the person that makes the meal,” he says. “So, it’s a lot more time in the kitchen if you’re not just delivering the entree.”