Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston met before they co-starred in Friends. According to Perry, he developed a crush on Aniston early on — but she had a “deafening lack of interest” in him regarding romance. Here’s how her rejection of his advances went down.
Matthew Perry asked Jennifer Aniston out before they co-starred in ‘Friends’
Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston have fantastic chemistry in Friends, and they sustained a friendship after the show stopped airing. But before they co-starred in the ’90s series, Perry hoped to have a shot with Aniston romantically. In his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, he explained how he met Aniston three years before filming Friends, and he thought she could have interest in pursuing a romance with him.
“I was immediately taken by her (how could I not be?) and liked her, and I got the sense she was intrigued, too — maybe it was going to be something,” he wrote. “Back then, I got two jobs in one day — one was Haywire, an America’s Funniest Home Videos-type show, and the other was a sitcom. So I called Jennifer, and I said, ‘You’re the first person I wanted to tell this to!’”
“Looking back, it was clear that this made her think I liked her too much or in the wrong kind of way … and I only compounded the error by then asking her out,” he continued.
Ultimately, Aniston declined Perry’s invitation. But she told him that she’d love to remain friends even if they never got romantic. Unfortunately, Perry didn’t respond well to being just “friends” with Aniston. ” … I compounded the compound by blurting, ‘We can’t be friends!’” he wrote.
When Aniston and Perry worked together in Friends, his feelings came rushing back. “Fairly early in the making of Friends, I realized that I was still crushing badly on Jennifer Aniston,” he wrote. But after the show started to gain traction, his crush started to wane. “That, and her deafening lack of interest,” he added.
Jennifer Aniston wasn’t interested in him, but she developed a crush on David Schwimmer
While Matthew Perry crushed on Jennifer Aniston, she was crushing on her Friends co-star David Schwimmer. Schwimmer also liked Aniston, but they didn’t pursue each other.
“At some point, we were both crushing hard on each other,” Schwimmer told Entertainment Tonight. “But it was like two ships passing, because one of us was always in a relationship. So, we never crossed that boundary. We respected that.”
Aniston admitted that she reciprocated those feelings. “We just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel,” she said.
Perry knew that Aniston and Schwimmer had crushes on each other while filming. “Oh, I knew. I knew,” Perry told SiriusXM. “Yeah, no, I knew what was going on. And eventually, my crush dissipated. At first, it was like, she would walk in, I’d be like, ‘Hey, good to see you.’ And I’d go to my dressing room and just go, ‘Oh, I’ll never, I’ll never be able to be with her.’ But how can you not have a crush on Jennifer Aniston, you know? But I did at one point just go, ‘All right, that’s enough.’”
Matthew Perry never dated his other co-star, Courteney Cox
Some Friends fans may wonder if Matthew Perry and his other co-star, Courteney Cox, ever got romantic. But it appears they were just friends. Cox and Perry stayed close through the years and maintained their friendship until Perry’s death in October 2023.
“It was so great to work with him. He’s so sweet,” Cox said in 2014 of working with Perry, according to Us Weekly. “When I worked with him on Friends, he literally gave me my personality for 10 years.”
The entire Friends cast released a statement after Perry’s death. “We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” they stated to People. “There is so much to say, but right now, we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.”
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