In Dumplin', the Netflix movie based on a YA novel set to come out this month, Jennifer Aniston plays a vicious pageant mother to Willowdean (Danielle MacDonald). Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Aniston admitted that she had a similar relationship to her own mother Nancy Dow.
“She was a model and she was all about presentation and what she looked like and what I looked like,” Aniston, 49, explained. She added, “I did not come out the model child she’d hoped for."
This is partially why Aniston took the role in Dumplin'. "It was something that really resonated with me, this little girl just wanting to be seen and wanting to be loved by a mom who was too occupied with things that didn’t quite matter," said Aniston.
Dow was an actress and model who worked in TV in the '60s. She married John Aniston, who later became known for Days of Our Lives, in 1965. Dow and Aniston divorced in 1980, and Dow later penned a memoir about her relationship with Jennifer titled From Mother and Daughter to Friends: A Memoir. At the time of the book's publication, there were reports that the book had left their relationship fraught. (Dow also gave a 1996 interview to the TV show Hard Copy regarding her daughter.) Their relationship has frequently covered in the press, especially in regards to Aniston's 2005 split from Brad Pitt. Dow died in 2016 at the age of 79.
Dumplin' is Aniston's first foray into the world of Netflix movies, an increasingly promising pursuit. (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, anyone?) Based on the novel of the same name, the movie follows Willowdean as she enrolls in her mother's pageant as a way to break barriers and push boundaries. Her mother, a former pageant queen herself, is ruffled by her daughter's choice and the pageant ultimately causes a rift in their relationship. Aniston's not the only big name attached; the soundtrack will include new Dolly Parton music.
Watch the full trailer for Dumplin', below.