Inside ‘Friends’ Costars Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer’s Friendship of Over 25 Years
Jennifer Aniston has become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actresses since her rise to fame on Friends in 1994. For 10 years, Jennifer dazzled the audience as Rachel Green, the stunning fashionista in love with David Schwimmer’s character, Ross Gellar. After dominating NBC ratings for an entire decade, fans have always wondered if Jennifer and David’s onscreen chemistry translated offscreen.
Despite all of the rumors, Jennifer and David never officially dated. They did both admit to having a crush on each other during HBO Max’s Friends reunion special released in May 2021.
“The first season, we — I had a major crush on Jen,” David said at the reunion. Jennifer replied, “It was reciprocated.”
Though the crush was mutual, the pair never acted upon it. At the beginning of her Friends fame in 1994, Jennifer met Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt. She reconnected with Brad in 1998 and they got engaged a year later. Brad and Jennifer were married in a stunning Malibu wedding in 2000. He was a guest star on Friends in 2001, ironically playing a character that disliked Rachel. The couple announced their split in January 2005.
“At some point, we were both crushing hard on each other,” David said about Jennifer during the reunion special. “But it was like two ships passing because one of us was always in a relationship. And we never crossed that boundary. We respected that.”
David briefly dated singer Natalie Imbruglia in the ‘90s while filming Friends. In 1998, he met actress Mili Avital on the set of Kissing a Fool. He proposed to her in 2001 but the pair split later that year. During season 8 and season 9 of Friends, David dated Coyote Ugly actress Carla Alapont. The pair broke things off in November 2003.
Friends wrapped filming in 2004 and the cast went on to pursue careers outside of their iconic sitcom characters. David married Zoë Buckman in 2010 and they welcomed their daughter, Cleo, a year later. Jennifer married actor Justin Theroux in 2015. The pair never had children. Both Jennifer and David’s marriages ended in divorce.
The Morning Show star admitted in a 2011 interview with Myself Magazine that she hadn’t seen David in a while, but their shared experience on Friends makes them “bonded forever.” Several of the other cast members have reunited at public appearances over the years. They all, with the exception of Matthew Perry, appeared in a 2016 NBC special to honor Friends director James Burrows.
All six Friends cast members did meet up for dinner at Courteney Cox’s house in 2019. They all posed for Instagram photos together as suspicions arose about a potential reunion. After the 2021 reunion, in which Jennifer admitted to cuddling David on set, she maintained there was nothing more than a friendship between them.
“That was bizarre. I could not believe that, actually. Like, really? That’s my brother,” Jennifer told ET while addressing the speculation in September 2021. “But I understand it, though. It just shows you how hopeful people are for fantasies, for dreams to come true.”
Ross and Rachel got their storybook ending in season 10 where they realized they were in love with each other all along. For right now, it looks like things are strictly platonic between Jennifer and David. In an interview with Howard Stern, Jennifer revealed how she and David only embodied their character’s chemistry onscreen.
“The beauty of that was that whatever feelings we had we just literally channeled everything into Ross and Rachel and I think that’s maybe why it resonated the way it did,” Jennifer said in June 2021. “But no, we never – on my life, and Courteney and Lisa would know and can vouch for me.”