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The complicated relationship between Jennifer Aniston and her late mother.

For Jennifer Aniston, playing a critical, image-obsessed mum in her upcoming film brought up memories of her own difficult relationship with her late mother.

The 49-year-old plays former beauty queen Rosie Dickson, who’s plus-sized daughter signs up for the beauty pageant she runs in the Netflix film, Dumplin’.

The actress told the Daily Telegraph she could easily empathise with the young lead, played by Australian up-and-comer Danielle Macdonald.

Just like the character, exclusively referred to her mother as “Dumplin'”, Aniston was the daughter of a former model, Nancy Dow, who constantly critiqued her.

nancy-dow-1999
Nancy Dow in 1999. Image: Getty

"She was a model and she was all about presentation and what she looked like and what I looked like," the Friends star told the newspaper.

"I did not come out the model child she's hoped for and it was something that really resonated with me.

"This little girl just wanting to be loved by a mum that was too occupied with things that didn't quite matter."

Aniston has previously shed light on her complicated relationship with her mother, who died in 2016 after suffering a stroke in 2011.

Their relationship was marred by periods of estrangement that lasted years, including one for the entirety of Aniston's marriage to Brad Pitt.

In 2015, she told the Hollywood Reporter that her mum, a former model and television star, has been a difficult mother to live with.

"She was critical. She was very critical of me," Aniston said.

"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."

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Aniston said her mother also "had a temper" and was "very unforgiving"

"She would hold grudges that I just found so petty," she said.

This opposed Aniston's demeanour, which is to discuss things calmly, rather than scream and to forgive people easily.

"I was never taught that I could scream. One time, I raised my voice to my mother, and I screamed at her, and she looked at me and burst out laughing. She was laughing at me [for] screaming back. And it was like a punch in my stomach," she recounted.

But it was once Aniston left her mother's home that their relationship became strained. Just as her daughter was cementing her fame as part of Friends in 1996, Dow gave a tell-all interview about her to tabloid TV show Hard Copy.

At this point, Aniston stopped speaking to her mother.

Then, three years later, she wrote and published a book, From Mother and Daughter to Friends: A Memoir, against her daughter's wishes in an apparent attempt to leverage of her daughter's stardom, that had by this point, eclipsed her own.

This did nothing to repair their relationship and Aniston didn't invite her mother to her wedding to Brad Pitt in 2000. But reportedly reconciled after their divorce in 2005.

It was also reported that the pair had another falling out around the time of Dow's stroke.

But a year before her mother's death she told the Hollywood Reporter "we're all fine", suggesting they had at least had some contact before Dow passed away on 25 May 2016.

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