Jennifer Aniston, beloved for her role as Rachel Green on Friends (1994), was actually the first choice for what is now an iconic romantic comedy. The movie would eventually become one of Kate Beckinsale’s most iconic roles, Serendipity (2001).
Serendipity director Peter Chelsom told People that they initially wanted Jennifer Aniston to play the lead part of Sara Thomas. Chelsom said that Jennifer Aniston came in to meet with him and the casting directors, but that ultimately she disclosed that she didn’t want the part simply because she felt as though, in her words, that she was “doing a romantic comedy every week” on the set of Friends. Chelsom detailed further that the conversation didn’t even get far enough that they could make her an offer, but that if it had he would have indeed offered her the part.
Jennifer Aniston may have passed on starring in what became one of the most iconic and enduring romantic comedies of all time, but her decision to not take the part certainly didn’t have an effect on her success as an actress. In fact, even after Friends concluded in 2004, she filmed a string of successful and memorable movies. Films like, Along Came Polly (2004), The Break Up (2006), Marly & Me (2008), and He’s Just Not That Into You (2009).
In recent years, Jennifer Aniston’s career has only picked up even more momentum. For two seasons she starred in one of Apple TV+’s most successful programs, The Morning Show (2019), which has an impressive audience score of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. Additionally, much to the delight of many fans, the actress recently reunited with all of her former Friends costars for a special reunion episode that aired on HBO Max.
The reunion episode was one that overflowed with nostalgia and paid homage to so many of the beloved sitcom’s most memorable moments, including when Joey (Matt LeBlanc) donned the entirety of Chandler’s (Matthew Perry) wardrobe and uttered the famous line, “Could I be wearing any more clothes!” The episode was also filled with unbridled emotion and deep sentiment. Matthew Perry even candidly revealed the anxieties he endured prior to every time he went on camera. And both David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston admitted that during the show they both had real-life feelings for one another, that ultimately they never acted on.
Kate Beckinsale might have played the part of Sara Thomas in Serendipity, but Jennifer Aniston has certainly lived up to the long-time nickname of being “America’s Sweetheart” many times over throughout the course of her career. Many of her movies have earned sequels we’re still seeing today and her projects can be found on streaming. In fact, one of her projects, Horrible Bosses, was recently close to the top of HBO Max’s charts. The actress is also slated to reprise her role as Audrey Spitz from Murder Mystery (2019) in a sequel to the crime comedy in which she starred alongside Adam Sandler. She is also attached to a new movie currently in pre-production titled Hail Mary, which is said to detail the story of a Miss USA entrant turned sports manager.