Speaking for the first time about the break-up, she reveals the heartache behind the separation – and her hope that they can patch things up.
“I’ve been laying low but I just feel like I’ve been in a whirlwind,” says Courteney, 46, talking exclusively to the Mirror from a suite in a Beverly Hills hotel.
“This is the first day off I’ve had since I’ve been separated and it will be an interesting time. I woke up the other morning and thought, ‘Now what do I do?’ It was a weird feeling, but we’ll see.
“I never run from things and getting separated from someone after so many years, and someone I love so much, takes a lot of courage. It’s for sure the bravest thing I’ve ever done.
“I don’t know what will happen, but we are not getting divorced.This is a separation so hopefully whatever is supposed to happen will be the best thing for us.”
“We have grown apart and we have to maybe take some time, but there’s definitely been a big adjustment.” Even Arquette’s outburst on the Stern show elicits little more than a shrug.
She says: “That’s David. He’s a kook. He’s an entertainer and I’m sure that people who listen to the radio are entertained by his stories and he’s just being honest… maybe too much. But it’s not shocking to me.”
Eyebrows were raised when they got married in the first place with some pals fearing it would never last. After all, she was the elegant, multi-millionaire star of one of the biggest shows on television – and he was seven years her junior and a hyperactive, supporting player in minor films and TV shows who had struggled with drug abuse.
Yet they made it work. They had a daughter, Coco, gathered a wide circle of friends and the Sunday night open house parties at their Malibu home were famous. But now, sadly, the marriage has broken down.
Courteney’s latest TV hit is the series Cougar Town, in which she plays a middle-aged divorcee with a teenage son who starts dating again.
At the moment that is not something she can even contemplate. She says: “Right now I’m not doing anything but working and looking for some calm and time to reflect. No dating.”
Foreshadowing troubles to come, in one of her last interviews before the split she said: “We still have the same arguments we’ve had for years. Some things never change and the intriguing things you fall in love with will become the things you don’t like.”
She has stayed in their Malibu home, while Arquette lives in their house in Beverly Hills.
Courteney says: “She’s having a hard time but she’s dealing with it well and David and I are trying to show her that we spend a lot of time together.”
Best friend Jennifer, who survived the end of her marriage to Brad Pitt, has been helping her through the tough times and has been “amazing”. Courteney says: “I have a lot of really close friends who are going through this right now, like Jennifer did.
“She’s has been amazing. She’s the greatest girl and we hang out together all the time.”
The couple have been close since they were both cast on Friends in 1994. Originally, Courteney auditioned for and won the part of Rachel. But she felt the character of Monica, with her love of cooking, cleanliness and need for order was more her, and persuaded producers to switch.
The overwhelming popularity of the show was a windfall for her in many ways. She received a bigger salary with each series, culminating in a $1million-perepisode deal during the 10th and final season. It made her and co-stars Jennifer and Lisa Kudrow the highest paid television actresses in history.
Friends also got Courteney nominated for numerous awards, boosting her profile to superstar status. It helped her revive what had been a less than successful film career.She starred in three Scream movies, meeting David who played the dim-butloyal deputy Dewey. They married in 1999.
Previously, Courteney’s meaningful romances had been with Stewart Copeland’s brother, Ian, and she had a six-year relationship with the reclusive actor Michael Keaton. But her films 300 Miles to Graceland, The Runner, November and Zoom went largely unseen and she returned to TV in the short-lived series Dirt, playing the workaholic editor of a tabloid mag. Now the US series Cougar Town has put her back on the map.
“I think a lot of people were turned off by the title,” admits Courteney.
“It’s the worst title in the history of all television and it’s not what the show’s about. It’s changed. We’ve really changed the concept.”
She adds: “A lot of people didn’t want to watch because the word cougar is offensive to some people and they didn’t want to see me with younger guys. There are tons of women who love the show. It’s very polarising… you either love it or hate it.”
Jennifer guest starred in one episode. Courteney says: “She’s a big fan of the series and to work together is just so easy for us. We always make jokes about one day we’ll do another sitcom together because life’s so easy when you do those sitcoms. We had it made on Friends.”
But for now she has other, far more pressing, things to consider.
She says: “The questions I’m asking myself are what makes me happy? Where do I want to be? What will make me happy at 50, 60 and 70? “I want a little more calm in my life and more intimacy in a lot of ways. Nothing makes me happier than having dinner with a friend and talking.
“Right now I’m trying to figure out how that works, how to raise my daughter and just keep it simple.”
Source: Daily Mirror