She’s opening up. Jennifer Aniston and her late mother Nancy Dow didn’t exactly have the best mother-daughter relationship and Jen has been extremely honest about that in the past. But now that Jen is playing a mom in her latest movie role as a hardcore beauty pageant mom in Netflix’s Dumplin’, she is reflecting on the parallels between the type of mother she plays in the upcoming film and the type of mother Nancy was.
In Dumplin’, Jen plays Rosie Dickson, a former beauty queen who is the mother of a plus-size daughter named Willowdean. Growing up with a pageant mom, Willowdean often felt that her mother was too focused on her own body and looks to pay attention to her own daughter, and Willowdean decided to compete in an upcoming pageant as a way to get her mother’s attention and to shake up the pageant circuit.
Jen compared that strained mother-daughter dynamic to the relationship she had with her very own mom. “I did not come out the model child she’s hoped for and it was something that really resonated with me,” Jen said. “This little girl just wanting to be loved by a mom that was too occupied with things that didn’t quite matter.”
The Friends star’s mother Nancy was a model and an actress, who appeared in several 1960s TV shows like The Beverly Hillbillies and The Wild Wild West. In a 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jen revealed that Nancy had placed emphasis on beauty and looks and because of that, Nancy was very “critical” of her growing up.
“She was critical. She was very critical of me,” Jen told THR. “Because she was a model, she was gorgeous, stunning. I wasn’t. I never was. I honestly still don’t think of myself in that sort of light, which is fine. She was also very unforgiving. She would hold grudges that I just found so petty.”