Jenny Slate sat down with Christene Barberich of Refinery29 this week to chat about the time her life fell apart.
The discussion, which was hosted on the outlet’s UnStyled podcast, hinged off the past five years of Slate’s life and the change she’s experienced in that time.
“…from age 32 to 37, have been the best years of my life, the hardest years I’ve had so far,” she said in the interview.
“I had a lot of disruption in my personal life.”
During the five years Slate touched on, the entertainer and writer experienced the breakdown of two relationships. The first with her ex-husband Dean Fleischer-Camp and the second with Chris Evans (which we’re guessing you already know about).
In the interview, she spoke about the realisation that although she felt “so clear” and “really strong” in areas like her work, and her passion for reproductive or social justice, she at times didn’t like the person she was.
“My personal relationships could be very unhealthy,” she said.
“I just felt that my life fell apart, I felt like everything was in pieces, and I felt despair.”
The takeaway from the whole messy experience, she shared, was the lesson that she needed to work on the way she saw herself.
“I really needed to figure out what I thought about myself when a man was not defining that for me,” she said.
It’s a powerful quote, I think. Not just because this is something that many of us do – measure our self-esteem based on the ‘approval’ of our love interests – but because I think it’s largely what we’ve been doing to Slate since her attachment to Chris Evans.
The actress, comedian and author has performed in productions like Venom and The Secret Life Of Pets. She’s appeared in TV shows like Big Mouth and Parks and Rec. She’s penned books and a short film. She’s even won a handful of awards for her work.
And yet, she’s still often seen as the ex-girlfriend of Captain America.
Earlier this month, Slate spoke at a graduation ceremony for a tiny schoolhouse in Massachusetts where one student was completing school. It was a sweet act, and many praised her for it. Some listed it just another reason why Chris Evans must have dated her.
Sure, I get that people get excited about celebrity couples. Yes, I know that they were adorable. And, okay, it’s understandable that after his gig within the Marvel Universe, more people are likely to discover Slate through Evans.
But it’s been over a year since they split, guys. Both parties have moved on in one way or another. And she’s an intelligent, talented woman who deserves your interest irrespective of some guy she once dated.