As one of the most popular celebrities in Hollywood, there have been thousands of news stories written about Jennifer Aniston over the years. But how well do we really know the Friends star? Well, it turns out, not at all. Here are 40 little-known facts about the actress that are bound to surprise you.
40. She was in four failed sitcoms before making it big with Friends
Aniston was no stranger to sitcoms before appearing on Friends. In fact, she starred in four short-lived comedy shows before landing her big break. They were Molloy, a small-screen adaptation of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Muddling Through and The Edge.
39. She starred in a Tom Petty music video
Alongside her film and TV work, Aniston has also appeared in a handful of music videos. These include promotions for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1996 song “Walls (Circus),” and Melissa Etheridge’s “I Want To Be In Love” in 2001. And, naturally, she also starred in the video for The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There For You” alongside her fellow Friends cast.
38. She was a goth
Aniston has become known for her girl-next-door good looks, but she used to rock an edgier style. In 2016 she told People magazine, “High school was tragic. Just not well informed. You know, you’re experimenting. It was the ’80s and I looked like a goth nightmare. I wasn’t going for the most beautiful. It was, ‘How can I be the most rebelliously unattractive?’”
37. She swapped a romantic honeymoon for a friends trip
After her 2015 wedding to Justin Theroux, Aniston opted for a group trip rather than a traditional honeymoon. The happy couple celebrated their marriage with friends, including Courteney Cox and Chelsea Handler, at Bora Bora’s Four Seasons Resort. Later, Theroux told Extra TV, “It was a fantastic honeymoon. We had thought about it; we could just do a normal honeymoon, or we could go with some friends, keep the party going, relax and have fun.”
36. She was a terrible waitress… Just like Rachel
During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2019, Aniston revealed that she’d waited tables at Jackson Hole Hamburgers in New York, but hadn’t been very good at it. Describing herself as “very klutzy” and a “terrible waitress,” she added, “I had slippery fingers as a waitress was the problem.”
35. She comes from an acting family
Aniston’s mom and dad were both actors. Her father, John Aniston, appeared on Days of Our Lives, while her mother, Nancy Dow, had a role on The Beverly Hillbillies. Even so, her parents didn’t want Aniston to follow in their footsteps. In 2015 the actress told entertainment website Collider, “My dad was just begging me not to be in the industry. He said, ‘I do not want your heart broken.’”
34. She wasn’t a fan of “the Rachel”
Aniston’s hairdo on Friends sparked a major trend in the 1990s, but she herself didn’t love “the Rachel.” In 2011 the star told Allure magazine, “I love Chris [McMillan, her hairdresser], and he’s the bane of my existence at the same time because he started that damn Rachel, which was not my best look. How do I say this? I think it was the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen.”
33. She was friends with Chaz Bono at school
It turns out that Aniston wasn’t the only famous name to attend New York’s High School of Performing Arts. Among her classmates was Chaz Bono, the son of Cher and Sonny Bono. In fact, there’s even a picture of the pair hanging out in the locker room back in 1987 floating around on the internet.
32. She’s scared of being underwater
A terrifying experience as a kid left Aniston with a particular phobia. In 2015 she told E! News, “I basically have a real fear of going underwater. I was a kid, and I was riding this tricycle around a swimming pool, and I drove my tricycle into the swimming pool, and I didn’t let go, and my brother tried to [help me]. So I can’t go underwater, and no one will believe me. I honestly can’t.”
31. She almost had a different role in Friends
It might be hard to imagine now, but Aniston was originally considered for the role of Monica in Friends. The actress revealed to Collider, “They wanted [Courteney Cox] to play Rachel. Unbeknown to each other, I wanted to play Rachel and she wanted to play Monica. It worked out perfectly.”
30. She cut hair at school
It seems that Aniston had a series of odd jobs before becoming famous. In 2019 she told InStyle magazine, “I cut hair for 10 bucks a head in junior high. I could probably cut your hair… I cut my dad’s hair, and he was on a soap opera. But then he admitted to me 15 years ago that he would go in and have the hairdresser on set clean it up.”
29. She’s dyslexic
Aniston opened up about her experience of being diagnosed with dyslexia in adulthood in a profile by The Hollywood Reporter magazine in 2015. She revealed, “I thought I wasn’t smart. I just couldn’t retain anything. Now I had this great discovery. I felt like all of my childhood trauma-dies, tragedies, dramas were explained.”
28. Her wedding to Brad Pitt cost $1 million
Aniston’s lavish wedding to Brad Pitt in 2000 reportedly cost an impressive $1 million. The two stars tied the knot on a rented five-acre estate in Malibu, but aside from that little is known about the day. In any case, it was said to be an A-list affair, with celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Salma Hayek and Kathy Najimy apparently among the congregation.
27. She’s a reality TV fan
Like many of us, Aniston has admitted to being partial to a spot of reality TV. In 2015 she told People magazine, “I sadly am very much interested in the Kardashian-Jenner thing, That’s a guilty pleasure for sure.” What’s more, that very same year, the actress confessed to The Hollywood Reporter that she was “addicted” to The Bachelor.
26. She cleaned toilets as a kid
While Aniston might be able to enjoy the finer things in life now, she worked hard for her money as a child. In 2009 she confessed to Parade magazine that she’d once done a very unglamorous job. The actress explained, “I made my allowance as a kid cleaning toilets. I’m actually pretty good at it.”
25. Her wedding ring inspired controversial knockoffs
After Pitt commissioned custom-made wedding rings for Aniston and himself, the company that created them started selling copies of the design at $1,000 a pop. The celebrity couple ultimately launched a lawsuit against Silvia Damiani and Damiani International, which they later settled. The agreement stated that Aniston would star in advertising for Damiani, while Brad would design a jewelry line for the company.
24. She grew up poor
She’s earned millions as an actress, but Aniston has said she was poor as a youngster. She told Parade that she “grew up with absolutely no money at all.” The star continued, “I struggled for a while, but I was happy with my life whether I was making this amount of money, or that amount of money. I always enjoyed where I was working.”
23. She’s embarrassed by her first movie role
Aniston’s first movie role came in the form of the 1993 film Leprechaun, but it’s a movie that she’d rather forget. During a 2014 appearance on The Graham Norton Show, the star recalled, “It was a mortifying moment when Justin and I had just started to date. He was flipping through the channels, and he stumbled upon that. And that was our next two hours, much to my embarrassment.”
22. She once lived in a haunted house
On a 2018 episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden, Aniston revealed an encounter she’d had with a ghost in her house. She explained, “This dishwasher would start to go, or the coffee-maker would start to go, or the stereo would just turn on at full volume. And it was terrifying.” How did she deal with it? She moved out – leaving a roommate to fend for themselves.
21. She was a class clown
Aniston’s school years weren’t exactly easy, and the actress claimed she got through them by using her signature humor. In 2001 she told Rolling Stone magazine, “It’s a bit of a cliché, you know… Comedians are always tortured souls trying to make people like them, and all that silly stuff.”
20. She was a bike messenger
Recalling one of her worst experiences at work, Aniston told Collider that she once rode into a car door while working as a New York bike messenger. The actress explained, “I’m just very uncoordinated and extraordinarily klutzy. And I just never should have been allowed on a bicycle with cylinders.”
19. She’s a Dolly Parton fan
In fact, Aniston is such an admirer of the country star that she called a pet dog “Dolly Parton” in her honor. The pair got to work together on the 2018 Netflix movie Dumplin’, and apparently, Parton was eager to meet her namesake. In 2018 Aniston recalled to Elle magazine how the singer had asked her, “Do you still have Dolly Parton? Can I meet her? I’ve always wanted to meet Dolly Parton.”
18. She sees her marriages as successes
Aniston has been wedded twice, first to Pitt in 2000, then to Theroux in 2015, with both marriages ending in divorce. But the star doesn’t see these relationships as failures. She told Elle, “My marriages, they’ve been very successful, in [my] personal opinion. And when they came to an end, it was a choice that was made because we chose to be happy.”
17. She turned down a spot on Saturday Night Live for Friends
In 2011 Aniston’s buddy Adam Sadler told Oprah that the actress was offered a spot on SNL, but declined in favor of Friends. She’d appeared on the comedy show before but apparently decided to take a shot on the sitcom instead. Speaking of her decision, Aniston later said that the SNL producers “thought I was making a huge mistake.”
16. She apparently makes a mean margarita
When Aniston was interviewed by her friend Molly McNearney for InStyle in 2019, it was revealed that the actress can mix up a great marg. Revealing her secret, she said, “It’s basically silver tequila with lime juice shaken and over rocks. And some people like a little Cointreau; some don’t. It’s a cleaner margarita. No sugar, no mixes, no agave. I don’t like sweet drinks.”
15. She loves to entertain
Aniston is seemingly never happier than entertaining her female friends at home. She told Elle, “My house was always like the clubhouse. I love entertaining. I always have food. I think I probably got that from my mom, who always had her girlfriends over. I picked it up from my childhood – just always hearing girls in the house and learning how to make a good cheeseboard.”
14. She worked in telemarketing
Another job Aniston had before finding fame was as a telemarketer. In 1996 she told Rolling Stone that she’d “sold her soul” for the work. Nevertheless, in a 2019 interview with Harper’s Bazaar magazine, the actress confessed, “I didn’t make one sale. I was terrible at it. I was like, ‘Why do we have to call people at dinnertime?’”
13. She has a fear of flying
Speaking to InStyle, Aniston revealed the one fear that she wished that she could get over was that of flying. She explained, “It started in my 20s. It was a weird, scary flight. Afterward, I began noticing the stories on the news about plane crashes, and I became all-consumed with the idea of dying on an airplane. It was so out of control in my brain. So, yeah, that’s something I’d like to get rid of. It’s so irrational.”
12. She dreams of being a sculptor
Aside from acting, another passion of Aniston’s is sculpting. She revealed to InStyle that she had hopes of being an artist. The star said, “Twelve years ago, I had a beautiful art studio, and that was my dream then. I still want to take the time to have those moments for myself. I had a wheel, and I had a bunch of clay.”
11. She’s open about the importance of therapy
Aniston hasn’t been shy in discussing the importance of therapy in her life, even revealing that her favorite therapist had died around the same time as her first divorce. In 2015 she told The Hollywood Reporter, “When she did pass away, I remember thinking, ‘Wow, everything that we talked about and discussed, it’s allowed me to be really peaceful about it all.’”
10. She ducked out of her first school performance
Aniston got her first role in a high-school musical when she was just a junior, but cold feet got the better of her. Petrified at the thought of performing for a crowd, she pulled out before the show, spouting some excuse about a job she had after school. The actress went on to make her stage debut a year later, and the rest – as they say – is history.
9. She wasn’t sure if she was cut out to be a mom
Over the years, Aniston has faced near-constant speculation over the prospect of her becoming a mom. But the actress told Elle that she found the thought of parenting “kind of frightening.” She added, “Some people are just built to be wives and have babies. I don’t know how naturally that comes to me.”
8. She suffered with chronic neck pain
Aniston suffered from chronic pain as a result of a trapped nerve in her neck caused by stress. Thankfully though, she found relief through a specialist. The star told The Hollywood Reporter, “I saw this amazing doctor named Alison Tunney, who changed my life with this thing called directional nonforce technique. It’s like peeling an onion, like peeling years of injuries.”
7. She lost 30 pounds for her Friends role
In her interview with InStyle, Aniston described herself as being “a little on the chubby side” growing up. And it may come as a surprise to learn that, on the advice of her agent, the actress lost 30 pounds before landing the role of Rachel on Friends.
6. She’s a self-confessed “control freak”
Describing her personality to The Hollywood Reporter, Aniston said she was a “control freak” as a result of her early-life experiences. The star explained, “I like to be in charge of everything. My life was so out of control growing up, it’s very important today for it to be in control.”
5. She was estranged from her mom for years
Aniston and her mom didn’t speak for years. She told Elle that her mother had been critical of her growing up and had placed a lot of emphasis on her looks. She explained, “She was from this world of, ‘Honey, take better care of yourself,’ or ‘Honey, put your face on,’ or all of those odd sound bites that I can remember from my childhood.”
4. She experienced bullying as a child
Opening up about her experiences at school, Aniston told InStyle, “I was one of the kids who the others would decide to make fun of. It was an odd period of time during fifth, sixth, seventh grades. I was a little on the chubby side, so I was just that kid.” In an older interview with Rolling Stone, she also recalled a “Carrie moment” when she was doused in a bucket of paint as she stepped into class.
3. She’s from a Greek family
Aniston is of Greek origin on her father’s side and remembers her paternal grandmother, Stella, fondly. She told The Hollywood Reporter, “She was a Greek grandmother who just loved me more than anything and was so fun to be around. She had the best stories, she made me laugh. Beautiful, funny, gorgeous, hysterical — all the Greeks, all of my Greek family, were.”
2. She’s a homebody
As she’s gotten older, Aniston prefers the comfort of her home to chasing jobs across the world. Revealing her perspective to The Hollywood Reporter, she said, “When you’re younger and you’re off for three months, four months, doing a movie God-knows-where, it’s fine, and it’s a fun experience. But when you get to a place where you want to be home, and you have a partner, you have to be selective.”
1. She tries to see the funny side of tabloid stories
Luckily, Aniston is able to see the funny side in some of the stories she reads about herself. She told InStyle, “For the most part I can sit back and laugh at the ridiculous headlines because they have gotten more and more absurd. I guess they’re feeding into some sort of need the public has, but I focus on my work, my friends, my animals, and how we can make the world a better place.”