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The spotlight of Hollywood will soon shine on the Harvard psychology department.
“Friends” star Jennifer Aniston is set to portray Harvard Professor of Psychology Ellen J. Langer in a new movie about the professor’s life and studies, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Aniston, best known for her role as Rachel in the popular NBC sitcom, will also co-direct the movie, titled “Counter Clockwise.”
Langer said in an e-mail that she was excited about the Hollywood exposure.
“The research...means a great deal to me so the most exciting part is the possibility that it will reach a larger audience,” she wrote.
Langer has met with Aniston and said she was “impressed with how bright and genuine she seemed to be.”
The movie will bring a 1979 age-defying study onto the silver screen.
In the study, described in Langer’s 1989 book, “Mindfulness,” Langer placed a group of elderly men in a setting that convinced them the year was actually 1959.
The magazines, newspapers, and music the men saw and heard were all 20 years old and the men themselves were told to behave and talk as if it were 1959.
The men’s physical behavior followed their psychological convictions. Over the course of a week, signs of aging appeared to reverse and the men looked visibly younger. The subjects’ joints became more flexible, their posture straightened, and the lengths of their fingers, which typically shorten with age, actually increased.
Langer wrote that the film’s producers promised to stay “true to the spirit of the material.”
“I’ve never been involved in anything like this so of course it’s exciting,” she wrote.
The film is being produced by Universal and was written by “Hollywoodland” screenwriter Paul Bernbaum.
Langer said that Aniston, and others, may be attracted to her research because “the results are positive, hopeful, and very unusual.”
“She’s also even better looking in person,” she said.
Aniston’s publicist did not return requests for comment.
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