Justin Theroux says he was stunned by all the media attention he received during his relationship with ex-wife Jennifer Aniston.
In a preview for his upcoming Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist, the "Mosquito Coast" star, 49, opened up about his high-profile marriage to the former "Friends" star.
"I think a part of me was like, 'I'm essentially sort of a character actor and writer, there's not much there," Theroux recalled thinking a decade ago when he and Aniston, 52, first got together. The "Spy Who Dumped Me" star struggled to adjust to a more intense level of fame once the pair's romance went public.
"Jason Bateman actually once gave me one of the most sage pieces of advice ever when all that was kind of going on," Theroux shared.
"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 angry. That character has got a problem. That character is sweet. It's just this little soap opera that gets written in the margins," Theroux said, summing up Bateman's thoughts about celebrity media.
The former "Arrested Development" star told Theroux, "My advice is don't follow that guy's storyline."
Theroux was grateful that Bateman — a frequent co-star and close pal of Aniston's — was looking out for him.
"It was a good piece of advice because I've stuck to it," Theroux said. "That's the only way you can keep sane in all of that."
Theroux and Aniston tied the knot in 2015 after nearly four years of dating. They split in 2018 and have remained friendly.
Earlier this month, Theroux addressed tabloid rumors that implied the couple divorced because Aniston wanted to live in Los Angeles, while he preferred New York.
"That’s a narrative that is not true, for the most part," Theroux told Esquire. "Look, people create narratives that make themselves feel better or simplify things for them. That whole 'This person likes rock ’n’ roll, that person likes jazz. Of course!' That’s just not the case. It’s an oversimplification."
He added that he and his Emmy-wining ex keep in regular contact.
"We don’t talk every day, but we call each other. We FaceTime. We text."
Watch the full interview on Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist April 25!