Jennifer Aniston became famous thanks to Friends, the massive ’90s sitcom that people still love to this day. Now, she’s still a beloved actress, but she prefers to keep her private life private and hates tabloid intrusion. Here are 20 things about her you may not have known… including her thoughts on the much-longed-for potential Friends reboot.
20. There was a “secret” Friends reunion once
As well as the reboot, fans badly want the Friends cast to at least reunite in public. But alas, they’ve only ever done it in secret. “We have convened. Privately. For dinner,” Lisa Kudrow told Today in 2017. “It was really fun! We had such a good time. It was hilarious. We were laughing non-stop.” If only fans had been invited!
19. She’s one of the world’s highest-paid actresses
Sure, Friends was a while ago, but it was such a success that Aniston and the rest of the cast are still receiving royalties from it. Thanks to that, and to the other high-profile roles she’s taken since, she’s been in Forbes’ top ten highest-paid actresses list for more than a decade. And her net worth is apparently a cool $200 million.
18. She once turned down an offer from Playboy
In 2009 Aniston did a cheeky photoshoot for GQ in which she posed completely naked apart from a strategically placed tie. Many people were very taken with the GQ cover, and among them was the team at Playboy. The magazine offered Aniston a whopping $4 million to pose nude for it as well, but Aniston turned it down. At the time, she was said to have told Hugh Hefner that GQ was art, but Playboy was just sex.
17. She didn’t consider Brad Pitt to be the love of her life
When Aniston was married to fellow A-lister Brad Pitt, the media couldn’t get enough of them. We all know it wasn’t to last, but cracks were starting to show as early as 2003. When a W magazine interviewer called Pitt the love of Aniston’s life, she wasn’t sure. “I think you’re always sort of wondering, ‘Are you the love of my life?’ I mean, I don’t know, I’ve never been someone who says, ‘He’s the love of my life.’”
16. She almost drowned as a child
Aniston hates the water due to an incident in her childhood. “I basically have a real fear of going underwater,” she said in 2015 at a special screening of her film Cake. “I was a kid and I was riding this tricycle around a swimming pool and I drove my tricycle into the swimming pool and I didn’t let go.” Unfortunately Cake also involved a pool scene, which she joked took about 30 tries to get right.
15. She’s given lots of money to charity
She may be incredibly rich, but Aniston does good things with her money. She’s donated to and supported LGBT charities, animal charities, Doctors Without Borders, and plenty more. In 2016 she told InStyle why she did it. “We live an extremely beautiful, fortunate life being able to do what we get to do for a living. And so it’s a way of being able to be in a position to do something for people who are less able,” she said.
14. She had some success as a young artist
Aniston is obviously known now for acting, not painting. But when she attended the Rudolf Steiner School as a youngster, she was encouraged to take up multiple disciplines. One of these was art, and she must have been good at it, because one of her paintings was actually put on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art! She was just 11 years old at the time.
13. She and Paul Rudd have been friends for decades
Paul Rudd starred in Friends alongside Aniston for the ninth and tenth seasons. But the two have actually been buddies for years, ever since they were aspiring actors in L.A. together. In 1998 they co-starred in The Object of My Affection, and then they teamed up again in 2012’s Wanderlust. Rumor has it they might have dated at some point, too.
12. The Friends creators don’t want a sequel
Everyone may want a Friends reboot, but the writers don’t. They have some strong opinions about it, in fact. “We never, ever from the beginning ever wanted to do a spin-off or Grown-Up Friends or Friends Kids or Baby Friends,” Marta Kauffman told EW in 2014. “We always knew and felt very strongly that not only would it never happen, we never wanted to be part of that.”
11. Ross and Rachel stayed together after all
Friends ends with Ross and Rachel finally falling into each other’s arms, but you could be forgiven for wondering if it would last the course this time. In 2018, on a panel for The Wrap’s Emmy Series, co-creator David Crane confirmed that yes, Ross and Rachel were able to make it work. “Come on, they worked really hard, ten years,” he joked.
10. She didn’t invite the male Friends stars to her wedding
When Aniston married Justin Theroux in 2015, she invited Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow to the wedding. But for whatever reason, the male stars of Friends didn’t make the cut. Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer all remained home. “If she wanted me there, I would have been there,” LeBlanc told People at the time. How could you, Jennifer?
9. She’s claimed Brad Pitt is insensitive
After her very public divorce from Brad Pitt, Aniston mostly tried to remain professional. But every so often the mask slipped. In a 2005 interview with Vanity Fair, the interviewer told Aniston about a photoshoot, conceptualised by Pitt, which featured him and Jolie married with kids. Aniston was angry. “We’re divorced, and you can see why,” she said. “Brad is not mean-spirited; he would never intentionally try to rub something in my face… [but] there’s a sensitivity chip that’s missing.”
8. She has dyslexia
Aniston had a tough time at school, always feeling that she couldn’t retain information or just wasn’t smart enough. Then when she was an adult she was diagnosed with dyslexia, and suddenly it all made sense. “Now I had this great discovery. I felt like all of my childhood trauma-dies, tragedies, dramas were explained,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015.
7. She’s sued the paparazzi in the past
Aniston is frequently a target of the paparazzi, something she finds frustrating. In 2003 Los Angeles photo agency owner Francois Navarre paid her $550,000 after a photographer climbed a wall and snapped her sunbathing topless. And two years later, she filed a lawsuit against another photographer who tried something similar. That incident was, according to her lawyer in 2006, “amicably resolved.”
6. She hates the Friends opening sequence
The Friends opening credits, which featured the cast frolicking in a fountain to the tune of The Rembrants’ “I’ll Be There for You,” went down in television history. But apparently none of the cast actually liked it very much. “No one was really a big fan of that theme song,” Aniston told The One Show in 2016. “We felt it was a little – I dunno – dancing in a fountain felt sort of odd. But we did it! We were told to!”
5. She was estranged from her mother
Aniston and her mother, Nancy Dow, never got along. “She was very critical of me,” Aniston told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “She was also very unforgiving, she would hold grudges that I just found so petty.” Unfortunately, the feud might have continued even after Dow passed away. According to anonymous “insiders,” Aniston was cut out of her mother’s will and ultimately refused to take her ashes home with her.
4. She’s of Greek heritage
Aniston is actually Greek! Her father’s name was Yannis Anastassakis before he changed it to John Aniston. And her godfather is Greek-American actor Telly Savalas. She credits her famously youthful good looks to her Greek ancestry. “My dad is 100 percent Greek; he turned 81 and he barely has a wrinkle. And neither does my grandmother, who was 95 when she died,” she told Yahoo in 2014.
3. She still watches Friends
Not all actors like watching things they were in but Aniston does. She still enjoys Friends reruns just like everyone else. “I can’t help it,” she told The One Show in 2016. “First, I’m trying to remember which episode it is. And then half the time I’m saying to myself, ‘I don’t remember that.’ You get sucked into the nostalgia of it.”
2. She wrote an essay about her anger with the tabloids
In 2016 Aniston wrote an article for the Huffington Post speaking about how she had been treated by the tabloid media. “I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of ‘journalism,’” she wrote. “The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general.” Many people, especially other female celebrities, praised Aniston for speaking out about it.
1. She badly wants a Friends reboot
Add Aniston’s voice to those crying out for a Friends revival. “Courteney and Lisa and I talk about it. I fantasize about it. It really was the greatest job I ever had,” she told InStyle in 2018. “I don’t know what it would look like today, but you never know. So many shows are being successfully rebooted.” It’s an exciting time to be a Friends fan…