George Napolitano/Getty Images. inset: getty images Justin Theroux, Jason Bateman
"Was that a shock to your system though? Ten years ago when you started dating Jennifer and got married all that attention that you got?" Willie Geist asked Theroux, who was promoting his new Apple+ TV show The Mosquito Coast.
"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," Theroux, 49, said. "Jason Bateman actually once gave me one of the most sage pieces of advice ever when all that was kind of going on."
He continued, "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.' "
"And it was a good piece of advice because I stuck to it," Theroux added. "And that's the only way you can sort of keep sane and all that."
Aniston and Theroux first started dating in 2011 and got engaged the next year before tying the knot in a backyard ceremony in August 2015. They later announced their split in early 2018.
Last week, Theroux spoke to Esquire where he revealed he still keeps in touch with the Friends actress fairly regularly.
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SUNDAY TODAY WITH WILLIE GEIST
"I would say we've remained friends. We don't talk every day, but we call each other," Theroux said in the magazine's latest cover story. "We FaceTime. We text. Like it or not, we didn't have that dramatic split, and we love each other. I'm sincere when I say that I cherish our friendship."
He continued, "We can not be together and still bring each other joy and friendship. Also, she makes me laugh very, very hard. She's a hilarious person. It would be a loss if we weren't in contact, for me personally. And I'd like to think the same for her."