According To a Body Language Expert, Brad and Jen Have Unfinished Business

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt had a cinematic reunion backstage at the SAG Awards. A body language expert tells us these exes still have chemistry.

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
(Image credit: Emma McIntyre)
  • Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston both won SAG Awards (opens in new tab) on Sunday, January 19.
  • The former couple, who were were married between 1998 and 2004, reunited backstage at the awards show.
  • According to a body language expert, the pictures reveal lingering chemistry and affection. I quote: "What’s important to him is her."

It’s been 15 years since Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston divorced (opens in new tab), but America clearly isn't over them. After each winning a SAG Award on January 19 (opens in new tab), Pitt and Aniston had an impromptu backstage reunion—and it was the moment everyone was talking about.

A photo snapped by Emma McIntyre for Getty caught Aniston and Pitt, who were married from 2000 to 2005, mid-conversation. Both are exuberant from winning awards, and seemingly exuberant for each other, too. In an earlier video snapped by E! News, Pitt stood and watched the monitor as Aniston collected her statue for her performance on The Morning Show (opens in new tab).

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Their bodies tell a story. Pitt’s eyes, crinkled and gleeful, wear the expression of a man reunited with land after being lost at sea. Aniston looks like a woman whose husband has just returned from the war. Their hands are clasping, reaching, rowing them back through the years to a time when they were together...

Okay, maaaybe we're stretching by turning this reunion into fodder for a rom-com, but any onlooker could add up the elements in this photo and come to a conclusion: These two have major chemistry.

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston

(Image credit: Emma McIntyre)

Body language expert (opens in new tab) Patti Wood (opens in new tab) says we're not wrong to jump to that conclusion. According to the author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma (opens in new tab), Pitt and Aniston are making a "deep connection" in the photo. Wood points to Pitt's right hand, which clutches the statue. "His award is in his hand, but he holds it low, below his waist. What’s important to him is her," Wood says. Pitt's left hand, which grasps Aniston's right arm, bolsters that message. According to Wood, that's a grip that says, "Stay here with me."

On Aniston's end, Wood sees a woman who clearly cares for Pitt, but is approaching the interaction with protection. "Her expression is a very sincere combination of laughter and tears," Wood says, a contrast with her body's position. "Her chest sways slightly from him at the heart. She cares for him, but is protecting her heart connection."

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Aniston's wariness is understandable, given their relationship's highly public downfall. Their marriage ended in 2004, after Pitt met Angelina Jolie, (opens in new tab) his future wife, while filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

However, the story-in-images gets far juicier when the first photo is put in conversation with one taken soon after. In this shot, also by Emma McIntyre, Aniston seems to be walking away reluctantly.

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston

(Image credit: Emma McIntyre)

 According to Wood, this is the interaction's most "powerful" moment. "She can’t leave him completely. Her arm reaches back to its full extension as she goes. He smiles as she goes, but gently holds on to her," Wood tells OprahMag.com.

Supposedly, Aniston's hand placement indicates her feelings of being torn. "See how her fingers rest on his chest with the fingers awkwardly and unevenly splayed out, with some fingers bent? That awkward finger placement and finger tension shows her inner conflict, her desire to stay connected to him, near to his heart and her need to move on," Wood continues.

But her left hand may be communicating another, more obvious message: Aniston appears to be wearing what looks like a massive engagement ring. Though she has not publicly announced a relationship, a diamond ring sends a signal (opens in new tab) that we don't need a body language expert's help to understand. 

Jot this down as another entry in Pitt and Aniston's unfolding relationship story. One that perhaps they aren't keeping track of—but the public and media certainly are. 

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This awards season is proof of Aniston and Pitt's continued relevance. Both Pitt and Aniston have been making the circuit: Pitt is sweeping the Best Supporting Actor category  (opens in new tab)for his work as a laidback stunt double in Once upon a Time...in Hollywood (opens in new tab); Aniston's many emotional breakdowns in Apple TV+'s  (opens in new tab)The Morning Show (opens in new tab) earned her awards show love.

Whenever either Pitt or Aniston get attention during the live shows' broadcasts, the camera immediately tries to snag a reaction shot from the ex in the audience. This even happened at the SAG Awards, before the now-iconic backstage photos were snapped. As Pitt playfully joked about needing to "stretch" to play "a guy who takes his shirt off, gets high and doesn't get on with his wife" in Once upon a Time...in Hollywood, (opens in new tab) the camera caught Aniston's amused reaction. She gets the joke (even if he was referencing Jolie).

While Aniston and Pitt have been regulars on tabloid covers since they first got together in 1998, the rumors of reconciliation have intensified now that both are single (and reportedly back in the dating scene). Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt in September 2016; Aniston split with her second husband, Justin Theroux, in 2018. In the time since, the exes have demonstrated their continued closeness. Pitt was at Aniston's 50th birthday party in 2019 (opens in new tab).

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As usual, Aniston and Pitt remain gracious, if slightly exasperated, about the public's insistence on projecting their desires onto them. "She's a great friend," Pitt told ET at the Golden Globes red carpet (opens in new tab) earlier this year.

But there's difference between being friends and, uh, enacting a massive romantic reconciliation set to the tune of swelling violins—which, all these years later, is what the public still seems to pine for.

As the pictures indicate, the former couple clearly still has chemistry. But maybe it's time we let the fantasy go. Aniston and Pitt seem to have, even if their bodies, according to Wood, have not.


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Elena Nicolaou
Elena Nicolaou

As a culture editor at Oprah Daily, Elena covers the latest in books, movies, TV, pop culture, and the ever-expanding world of streaming. Prior to Oprah Daily, Elena worked as an entertainment writer at Refinery29 for three years, writing about everything from royals to reality TV, and developing the site’s book section. She also got to meet Jane Fonda, but that’s another story. For fun, she likes reading, writing romances on Wattpad (and elsewhere), taking long walks in the city, and cracking herself up with elaborate Instagram stories. Her super-power is matching people up with the right book.