Jennifer Aniston enjoyed ten seasons as Rachel Green on “Friends,” During the show’s run, she and her co-stars were among the highest-paid TV actors of all time, raking in $1 million per episode each. After the series ended, the actress launched a successful movie career that’s spanned decades, characterised by such hits as “Horrible Bosses,” “Marley & Me,” “Just Go With It,” and “We’re the Millers.”
1. How Jennifer Aniston felt about ‘the Rachel’ haircut
One unexpected byproduct of the success of “Friends” was the popularity of the hairstyle worn by Jennifer Aniston’s character, a ‘do that came to be known as “the Rachel” haircut. The look was created by hairstylist Chris McMillan, who told The Telegraph that he advised Aniston to grow, highlight, and experiment with her hair when he first met her. He chopped off some length and added layers, ultimately creating one of the most iconic haircuts of the time.
2. Her first media appearance was to promote this product on on a popular radio show
Jennifer Aniston’s first media appearance was on “The Howard Stern Show” in 1989 — not to promote an acting role, but to sell weight-loss products. At the time, she was working for NutriSystem, which promoted her as a “success story” after she shed 15 pounds following the company’s diet plan. Notably, NutriSystem was one of the radio show’s sponsors.
3. Jennifer Aniston’s actor father begged her not to enter showbiz
Jennifer Aniston’s parents are both actors. Her father, John Aniston, is best known for portraying Victor Kiriakis on NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” a role he first started playing in 1985. Aniston’s late mother, Nancy Dow, boasted TV credits in such series as “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “The Wild Wild West.” In an interview with Collider, Aniston recalled being a child and seeing her dad on the TV sitcom “That Girl,” feeling “overwhelmed that my father was in the television set because I wasn’t quite sure what he did, at that point.”
4. She worked these jobs before her acting career took off
Making it in showbiz takes some serious tenacity and a very thick skin, and Jennifer Aniston’s success did not happen overnight. Like many struggling wannabe actors, she worked at an ᴀssortment of different jobs to support herself while she hit audition after audition in search of the big role that would launch her career and set her on the road to stardom.
5. Jennifer Aniston looked like a ‘goth nightmare’ in high school
It is a rare and special person who can, later in life, look back at teenage pH๏τos without cringing and wondering, “What the heck was I thinking?” Jennifer Aniston is no different, revealing in an interview with People that she went through a bit of a goth phase during her teenage years.
6. The sneaky way NBC locked Jennifer Aniston into Friends
When producers of NBC’s “Friends” cast Jennifer Aniston, they knew they had found their Rachel. But there was one not-so-small problem, reported Entertainment Weekly in its excerpt of the book “Generation Friends.”
7. The surprising reason Jennifer Aniston turned down Saturday Night Live
Besides “Muddling Through,” another potential impediment threatened to stand in the way of Jennifer Aniston and her destiny on “Friends.” Around the same time that she landed the role of Rachel, she received an offer to join the cast of “Saturday Night Live.”
8. She has had a lifelong fear of water
For Jennifer Aniston, a day at the beach is, well, no day at the beach. That’s because she has had a lifelong fear of water, stemming from a traumatic childhood accident she’s never been able to overcome. While promoting her 2015 film “Cake,” she told E! News, “I basically have a real fear of going underwater.” It all went back, she said, to when she was a child riding a tricycle near a pool and rode it into the water. “I didn’t let go and my brother tried to [help me],” she recalled.
9. The book Jennifer Aniston’s mom released caused a years-long rift
At the height of the popularity of “Friends,” Jennifer Aniston’s mother, Nancy Dow, wrote a tell-all book about her fraught relationship with her famous daughter. The memoir, “From Mother and Daughter to Friends,” led to a major rift between Aniston and her mom. Writing about Dow when she pᴀssed away in 2016, Us Weekly recalled that she and Aniston stopped speaking for years. In fact, reported Marianne Garvey on VH1’s “The Gossip Table” (via Hollywood Life), Aniston’s mom was not invited to the celeb’s wedding to Brad Pitt — and she reportedly wasn’t invited to Aniston’s later wedding to Justin Theroux either, though that hasn’t been confirmed.
10. The actress has appeared in three music videos
In addition to her numerous film and television credits, Jennifer Aniston has also appeared in three music videos. The first video appearance came in The Rembrandts’ 1995 video for their hit “I’ll Be There for You,” in which Aniston, sporting sunglᴀsses, bangs a tambourine while she and the rest of the “Friends” cast dance onstage as the band performs the song that served as the sitcom’s theme.
11. Jennifer Aniston has struggled with dyslexia
Dyslexia is an affliction that has affected many celebrities, with ABC News reporting that the likes of director Steven Spielberg, actors Tom Cruise and Keira Knightley, and showbiz icon Cher have all opened up about their own respective struggles with dyslexia. Jennifer Aniston has also gone public about her dyslexia, revealing in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that she didn’t even know she had dyslexia until she was diagnosed in her early 20s.
12. Her film debut was in a horror movie about an evil leprechaun
Before “Friends,” Jennifer Aniston landed a starring role in a 1993 horror film that looked at the scarier side of St. Patrick’s Day: “Leprechaun,” a low-budget slasher film about a homicidal leprechaun who gleefully slaughters anyone standing between him and his missing pot of gold.
13. Jennifer Aniston’s relationship with John Mayer reportedly ended because of Twitter
Everyone knows that Jennifer Aniston was married to Brad Pitt. After their split, she later wed Justin Theroux, with the couple mutually ending their relationship a few years later. But in between those unions, Aniston dated musician John Mayer.
14. Jennifer Aniston split from Brad Pitt … and later reconnected
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston married in 2000 and split in 2005. They issued a statement explaining their separation was the result of “thoughtful consideration” and not “speculation reported by the tabloid media” — presumably that Pitt ran off with co-star Angelina Jolie.
15. Why Jennifer Aniston returned to TV with The Morning Show
After “Friends” ended its run in 2004, Jennifer Aniston left TV for a successful film career. In 2019, she returned to television to co-star with Reese Witherspoon in “The Morning Show,” a comedy-drama with themes of female empowerment in the #MeToo era, set at a network morning show. This time, Aniston wasn’t just acting, but was also executive producing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, both Aniston and Witherspoon were each paid $2 million per episode, with their salaries “said to be even higher with producing fees and ownership points.”
16. She’s a sleepwalker who used to set off her home security alarms
Even though Jennifer Aniston has been in the public eye since the 1990s, throughout the ensuing decades she’s continued to make headlines by sharing secrets about her personal life. That was the case in the spring of 2022, when she revealed she had once struggled with sleepwalking.
17. She’s lost friends due to their stance on vaccination
Jennifer Aniston has been a staunch proponent of the COVID-19 vaccine, something that placed her in the midst of a political battle between the pro- and anti-vaccination camps. “You know, someone literally called me a ‘liberal Vax-hole’ the other day,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t understand the disconnect right now, being bullied for wanting people not to be sick? I mean, that’s what we’re talking about.”
18. She found the Friends reunion so emotionally taxing she had to walk out more than once
When the long-awaited, pandemic-delayed “Friends” reunion finally premiered on HBO Max in 2021, fans of the beloved sitcom finally got the cast catch-up they’d been awaiting for nearly 20 years. For Aniston, the experience of reuniting with her former co-stars was something about which she had mixed feelings.
19. She’s embraced being a late bloomer
In late 2021, Jennifer Aniston was honored at The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women in Entertainment gala. In her acceptance speech, reported THR, Aniston looked back on being a struggling 19-year-old actress in NYC, waiting tables “and auditioning for every off, off, off, off, not-even-close-to-Broadway show.” What would she have thought, she mused, if her younger self found out she’d one day be accepting the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award (the award established in the name of the former Paramount CEO)? “I would’ve looked at them like they were crazy and said, ‘Who’s Sherry Lansing?’” Aniston quipped.
20. She once considered quitting acting to become an interior designer
While the very idea of a mᴀssively successful actor walking away from Hollywood to embark on an entirely different career seems absurd, it’s something that Jennifer Aniston genuinely considered. In a 2020 conversation with fellow actors Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes on their “SmartLess” podcast, Aniston revealed she’d given some serious thought to packing it in and becoming an interior designer. “I would have to say the last two years that has crossed my mind,” said Aniston (via ET Canada) “which it never did before.”
21. She always wanted to play Wonder Woman but ‘waited too long’
Any successful actors worth their salt can point to parts they really wanted to play that wound up going to somebody else. For Jennifer Aniston, the role that got away was an iconic female superhero.