Directed by Miguel Arteta and written by Mike White (creator of The White Lotus), The Good Girl followed Justine (played by Aniston), a cashier in a small Texas town who isn't satisfied with her life or her husband. Once she meets a young new cashier, named Holden (played by Gyllenhaal), they have an affair.
“Weirdly, love scenes are awkward, because there are maybe 30, 50 people watching it? That doesn’t turn me on,” Gyllenhaal revealed. “It’s oddly mechanical. And also it’s a dance—you’re choreographing for a camera. You can get in it, but it’s like a fight scene, you have to choreograph those scenes.”
However, Gyllenhaal was quick to add that Aniston made sure their intimate scenes were slightly more comfortable by using the "pillow technique", a popular tactic that sees actors place a pillow between themselves and their scene partner to create a divide.
“I think that was actually a Jennifer suggestion,” he said. “I think she was actually very kind to suggest it before we began…. She was like, ‘I'm putting a pillow here.’ That was it; that was all she said.”
“She’s a rough one, you know, not likeable. So hard to compliment,” he said. “I will say, I had a crush on her for years. And working with her was not easy… I was – um, yeah. That’s all I’m going to say. It was lovely. It wasn’t hard, that’s what I would say.”
Gyllenhaal has also admitted that at the time he wasn't a fan of Friends, but was impressed by her “personality from afar, and movies she was in”.