Jennifer Aniston

It's been three years since actress Jennifer Aniston last appeared on The Oprah Show, and Oprah can't wait to welcome back her old friend. "I've got to say, it's been way too long since her visit," Oprah says. "We've got lots of catching up to do!"

Jennifer says she's thrilled to be back in the Windy City, especially after President-elect Barack Obama's historic election. "I'm so happy to be in Chicago," she says. "The energy coming here, you can feel [it]. It's just amazing."
Jennifer Aniston made a Barack Obama cake.

Jennifer says she spent election night watching the returns at her former Friends co-star Courteney Cox's house. "We knew it was getting closer and closer, and then it was that realization of 'Oh my God, this is such a historical moment.'"

For her contribution to the party, Jennifer baked something special—a Barack Obama cake! "It's not like it's my grandmother's ancient recipe from the old country—it's definitely a Duncan Hines," she says. "Don't mess with perfection."
Jennifer Aniston and Oprah

Jennifer's not just watching the news these days, she's making plenty of headlines herself. She appears on the December, 2008, cover of Vogue, and in the article writer Jonathan Van Meter says she is "redefining what it means to be 40."

"I think [turning 40] is kind of awesome," Jennifer says. "[But] I'm still pretty immature." Jennifer shows off her age-defying bod in the Vogue spread, posing in a bikini. "That's [from] yoga, running, eating well and taking care of myself."

The article also grabbed national attention because Jennifer opens up about her ex-husband, Brad Pitt, and his girlfriend, actress Angelina Jolie. In the article, Jennifer is quoted discussing Angelina's past comments on the timeline of her romance with Brad. "The stuff about how she couldn't wait to get to work every day?" Jennifer says in the current issue. "That was really uncool."

Though that quote ended up on the Vogue cover, Jennifer says it was just a small part of a larger story. "The content [of the story] does not reflect the cover," she says. "[Jonathan] asked me a question, and I basically just answered it as honestly as I could."

Jennifer's love life has been a matter of public interest since she starred on Friends. Since breaking up with Brad, however, she says people feel sorry for her when they shouldn't. "It's a really nice thing to have so many fans and people that really care," she says. "I feel like I've been unbelievably lucky in love. It just might not look the way it's supposed to look at this point."

Despite their past, Jennifer says she's proud of Brad and his family. "He's done some amazing things in the last couple of years," she says. "I think he's doing great."
Jennifer Aniston and Jon Mayer

Photo: AP/Wide World Photos

Jennifer's ready to clear up some other rumors that have landed her in the tabloids. One of which is that she's dating singer John Mayer. Oprah wants to know: Is it true? "Yes," Jennifer says.

And, is she pregnant? "No."

After taking almost two years off from acting to focus on her production company, Jennifer is back on the big screen this Christmas. She's starring in Marley & Me, a heartwarming film based on John Grogan's best-selling book and his columns in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

In the movie, Jennifer and co-star Owen Wilson play newlyweds who get a dog to test the waters of parenthood. Marley turns out to be a four-legged fiasco, but he teaches the couple the joy of life's unexpected messes and the lessons of unconditional love.

Jennifer says this role was a particularly moving one for her. "For the first time I'm not the girl wanting the guy," she says. "It was a portrait of a marriage, and it was just an important experience for me. I really loved every minute of it."

The character Jennifer portrays represents many real women, she says. "You get to that place in your life and you realize, 'I have to make a choice,' because either your work is suffering or your children and your family are suffering," she says. "It's not just a happy dog movie. It really does touch on some life issues that are not necessarily fun."
Jennifer Aniston's dogs, Norman and Dolly

Photo: Robin Layton

Playing a dog lover in Marley & Me wasn't a stretch for Jennifer—she has two pooches of her own at home. Norman is a 13-year-old corgi-terrier mix, and Dolly is a 2-and-a-half year-old white shepherd.

Jennifer says this picture of Norman and Dolly sums up their personalities perfectly: Norman is cranky and Dolly is confused!

Norman has become quite the star lately, and Jennifer jokes that she doesn't want him to get a big head. "I think Norman, having now been on Oprah and being in Vogue magazine, I think I'm cutting him off," she jokes.
Owen Wilson with his dog, Garcia

Jennifer's Marley & Me co-star, Owen Wilson, also has a soft spot for man's best friend. Owen is Skyping in from Maui along with his own furry friend, Garcia.

While filming the movie, Owen says he found out that Garcia has a jealous side. When Garcia smelled his canine co-stars on him, Owen says Garcia would get a "Now where have you been?" look on his face. "I had to kind of sit him down and explain it's just a movie," Owen jokes.
Owen Wilson

Photo: Laura Wilson

Don't tell Garcia, but Owen has had dogs around him since childhood. "I felt like in a way I have been preparing my whole life for the role [in Marley & Me] because we grew up with family dogs," he says. From Nutmeg the dalmatian to Duke the golden retriever, dogs have been a big part of the Wilson family since Owen was just a boy.

Owen's dog-loving parents even make a cameo in Marley & Me. While Owen says his mom was a little nervous, his dad felt right at home. "My dad kind of was a little bit cocky—like right after his first take he said to me, 'Is it too early to say a star is born?'" Owen jokes.
Owen Wilson

Although acting with animals can be a struggle, Owen says all his canine co-star needed to do was be himself to play the part perfectly. "Clyde, who played Marley, was so rambunctious and untrained that it was actually kind of good," he says. "He was really good at acting crazy."

Jennifer says getting used to having a trainer in the room was the most difficult part, and Owen says it was the trainer's methods that were tough. "They had little tricks to get the dog to lick you to wake you up in a scene, where they put this baby food, this like meat baby food on you," Owen says.

"That's how they get Owen and I to kiss too," Jennifer jokes.

The movie may be full of laughs, but with so many loyal readers waiting to see Marley & Me hit the big screen, Owen says it was important to make sure the film had a lot of heart. "I think we felt a responsibility," he says. "Anytime there's this book that people loved and really connected to, you want to honor that, and I think hopefully that we did."

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