"We just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel," Jennifer Aniston said during HBO Max's Friends: The Reunion special, streaming now

By Dory Jackson
May 27, 2021 06:00 AM
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This post contains spoilers from HBO Max's Friends: The Reunion special.

A Ross and Rachel romance almost happened in real life between Friends costars Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer.

During HBO Max's Friends: The Reunion special, out now, host James Corden asked point-blank whether any of the cast members of the hit NBC sitcom, which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004, ever engaged in off-screen romances with each other. Aniston, 52, chimed in first to suggest that Schwimmer, 54, jump in.

"I mean, the first season, I had a major crush on Jen. At some point, we were crushing hard on each other," Schwimmer admitted. "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."

"Bulls---," Matt LeBlanc joked under his breath.

Friends
Friends the reunion

Aniston then recalled a conversation she had with Schwimmer about their eventual first kiss. "Honestly, I remember saying one time to David, 'It's going to be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is going to be on national television,'" she said. "Sure enough, first time we kissed was in that coffee shop."

She continued, "So we just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel."

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Ross and Rachel
| Credit: Getty

Schwimmer also remembered how he used to cozy up to Aniston during the first couple of years. "When we had breaks from rehearsal, there were moments where we would cuddle on the couch," he said.

"We would spoon and fall asleep on the couch," Aniston added.

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As footage of a time that they snuggled together rolled, Schwimmer observed, "I'm thinking, 'How did not everyone know we were crushing on each other?'" To that, Matthew Perry and Courteney Cox both acknowledged that they all "knew" about the pair's attraction to one another.

Schwimmer remarked that ultimately, it "was a situation we couldn't do anything about," to which Cox, 56, said was for the best.

"How great though, ultimately," she said. "Because if you had [acted on it] and it didn't work out, it would have not probably been as great [on the show]."

jennifer aniston, david schwimmer
Credit: Mike Windle/Getty Images; Paul Morigi/Getty Image

On the beloved show, Ross (Schwimmer) and Rachel (Aniston) endured an on-and-off romance until the series finale. By the end of the episode, the two — who also welcomed a daughter named Emma during season 8 — got back together despite Rachel's plans to move to Paris for a job at Louis Vuitton.

Off-screen, Schwimmer married English artist Zoe Buckman in 2010; the two split in 2017. The former couple remains on good terms as they co-parent their 10-year-old daughter, Cleo.

Aniston was married to one-time Friends guest star Brad Pitt from 2000 to 2005. The Morning Show star split from second husband Justin Theroux in 2018 after more than two years of marriage and nearly seven years together.

Friends: The Reunion is streaming on HBO Max.