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Jennifer Aniston reveals dyslexia struggle: 'I thought I wasn’t smart'

Aniston dyslexia THR
Hollywood Reporter

In a candid interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Aniston reveals that she struggled with dyslexia growing up.


“I thought I wasn’t smart,” the "Friends" star told the magazine, which posted the interview Wednesday. “I just couldn’t retain anything."

Before she was diagnosed with the developmental reading disorder, she was asked during an eye exam to read a paragraph while wearing glasses with one blue lens and one red lens.

"[They] gave me a quiz, gave me 10 questions based on what I’d just read, and I think I got three right," she recalled. "Then they put a computer on my eyes, showing where my eyes went when I read. My eyes would jump four words and go back two words, and I also had a little bit of a lazy eye, like a crossed eye, which they always have to correct in photos.”

Although Aniston wouldn't receive her dyslexia diagnosis until her early 20's, she was relieved to hear it.

"Now, I had this great discovery," she said of her diagnosis. "I felt like all of my childhood trauma-dies, tragedies, dramas were explained.”

It was also welcome news for the self-described "control freak."

"I like to be in charge of everything," Aniston added. "My life was so out of control growing up, it’s very important today for it to be in control.”

Other interview highlights:

  • On her Oscar snub for her performance in the movie "Cake": “I know a lot of people were sorry. I feel I’ve gotten such wonderful love — I had almost more phone calls and flowers than I did for any other nomination [in the past].”
  • On the public's obsession with her breakup with Brad Pitt: “We’re not in daily communication. But we wish nothing but wonderful things for each other. Nobody did anything wrong. You know what I mean? It was just like, sometimes things [happen]. If the world only could just stop with
 the stupid, soap-opera [bull]. There’s no story. I mean, at this point it’s starting to become — please, give more credit to these human beings.”
  • On her relationship with her mother, Nancy Dow: "She was critical. She was very critical of me. 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.”
Jennifer Aniston, a cast member in "Cake," poses at the premiere of the film at Arclight Cinemas on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP )Today
  • On what initially sparked her interest in her fiancé, Justin Theroux: “It was his humor, mainly ... . He’s the easiest guy to hang around. He was so completely in his skin. It was the first time I remember being so comfortable [with a romantic interest], like with all my gay friends.”
  • On her guilty pleasure, "The Bachelor": "I’ll say it out loud. Last year, [friends] were saying, ‘It’s 'The Bachelor,' it’s premiering tonight! 'The Bachelor' is premiering tonight!’ And I was like, ‘Oh, guys! Seriously? 'The Bachelor' That’s been on for 15 years or something.’ And Justin and I, just for fun, watched — and two hours later, we were addicted. It was like junk food. We were sad when it ended.”
  • On the possibility of having kids: “Listen, that’s a topic that’s so exhausted. I get nervous around that, just because it’s very personal. Who knows if it’s going to happen? It’s been a want. We’re doing our best.”
  • On planning a wedding: “We don’t have a date. I wouldn’t tell you if we did.”

Follow writer Chris Serico on Twitter.