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Jenny Slate Gets Real About Cheating & Divorce

jenny slate

Jenny Slate is our favorite cool girl–who also happens to be brilliant and funny and talented. Her new movie “Landline” focuses on infidelity in serious relationships; she plays Dana, a woman engaged to be married–who ends up having an affair with an old beau.

Cosmopolitan recently interviewed Slate about the film, and she opened up about how she was getting divorced to her ex-husband editor-director Dean Fleischer-Camp while making the movie–as well as sharing own thoughts on cheating.

On divorce & relationships:

“When we were making this movie, I was getting divorced, and even though my divorce was amicable, I would attribute a lot of that split-up to the simple thing of people growing apart and not matching up anymore. That is what Dana is dealing with. Are we growing apart? Is that bad? Or are we just growing and can we grow together? Sometimes you can, and sometimes you can’t.”

When it comes to her own divorce, Slate is pretty upfront about what happened–which is hard for anyone to admit, but especially hard for a celebrity. In Vulture, she said:

“We’re good friends. That’s why we got divorced. If we didn’t get divorced, we wouldn’t be able to be friends and we wouldn’t be able to do our work. We had just grown apart, and we love each other. It wasn’t easy, but not bad. No, it was bad. But not essentially bad.

Even though we had an amicable divorce, I think that’s still something that you need to mourn. When you get separated from somebody that you actually care about, it is the destruction of a belief system. That is really, really sad.” 

On cheating: 

“While her infidelity isn’t permissible, it’s understandable. It’s a human mistake. I like that she isn’t denigrated into some sort of ‘bad’ woman or into a hero or any sort of majorly simplified character in that way. I like that, in the end, you see her as someone who has made a mistake, who’s learned from it, and who now knows that it’s not worth it to be in a partnership if she is not making choices and reassessing those choices and choosing again all the time.

While it’s reckless and hurtful, it’s not usually connected to that person has somehow become evil. It’s usually connected to weakness and dissatisfaction and that’s really sad. It’s sad for everyone. I think, for Dana, the lesson that she learned is that she doesn’t feel whole. She doesn’t feel whole in the relationship. She doesn’t feel wholly seen. Instead, she chooses to lead an even more fragmented existence and she realizes that, although it raises interesting questions, and playful moments about her and her identity, that it’s not sustainable. Cheating is not freedom. Infidelity is not freedom. It’s a momentary respite from stressors that are going to come back.”

Then, in Variety, she expanded on the differences between men and women cheating, saying how men often are forgiven and given a lot more slack than women are (and it’s true):

“I feel that in society, generally when a man cheats, we’re a bit more forgiving because we tend to think men need to satisfy their needs. Whereas if women cheat, they are liars, insidious or insecure.

We have a president now who won an election because he bragged about cheating, lying, and assaulting people, and a woman who lost because she also was untruthful. One was elevated and one was denigrated.”


On dating post-divorce (and in her case, Chris Evans):

“I don’t mind talking about him at all. He’s a lovely person. I don’t know. It feels like such a huge thing. Last year was a giant, big year for my heart. I’ve never, ever thought to keep anything private because that’s not really what I’m like, and now I’m learning those things, and they’re weird, kind of demented lessons to learn.

I remember him saying to me, ‘You’re going to be one of my closest friends.’ I was just like, ‘Man, I fucking hope this isn’t a lie, because I’m going to be devastated if this guy isn’t my friend.’ ” 

On dating a huge star (aka Chris Evans) and being seen as “alternative”:

““If you are a woman who really cares about her freedom, her rights, her sense of being an individual, it is confusing to go out with one of the most objectified people in the entire world”

 “I’m considered some sort of alternative option, even though I know I’m a majorly vibrant sexual being.” 

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