Did Jennifer Aniston Almost Pass on 'Friends'?

Sasha Brown-Worsham

Back in the 1990's, a little show named Friends made Jennifer Aniston (and her hair) a household name. It also launched the careers of Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry, but many would say the show belonged to Aniston.

And she almost passed it over. Back in the early 1990's, Aniston turned down Saturday Night Live in order to star on Friends. At the time, the decision seemed insane, Adam Sandler told Oprah Winfrey earlier this week.

After Sandler learned she had turned the spot down, he says he remembers thinking, She said no? She's gonna do that Friends? What the hell is Friends?

What would the show have been like without her? We will never have to know! But at the time, it looked like an poor decision.

Aniston told Oprah that her friends thought she was crazy for choosing the pilot over the well-established, popular sketch comedy show that is famous for launching so many careers.

They were like, 'You're so stupid.' They thought I was making a huge mistake, she told Oprah who added, Worked out for ya.

Yes, it did. By the time Friends ended, Aniston was earning $1 million per episode. She met her very close friend (Cox) on the set and it became her segue into movies and major stardom. Would the same have happened if she had chosen SNL? Maybe. But maybe not. 

It is a good life lesson. Aniston chose the path less traveled. I am sure, had I been in her shoes, I would have made the other choice. SNL is a known entity, all my friends know the show, they would be impressed. Obviously, if you wanted fame immediately, it would be the best bet.

She traded the immediate gratification of a little fame for the long term gratification of major stardom. She took a big chance that paid off in ways most of us cannot even imagine.

And I am so glad she did! Friends without Rachel would have been boring, indeed.

Would you have made that choice?


Image via IvanTortuga/Flickr

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