During the highly-anticipated Friends reunion special, which premiered on HBO Max this week, the actors confessed to “crushing hard” on each other in real life when they were filming the series.
“The first season, I had a major crush on Jen,” Schwimmer said during the reunion special. “At some point, we were both crushing hard on each other.”
Aniston confirmed that the feelings were mutual, but Schwimmer revealed that, in spite of their mutual attraction, they never acted on the feelings.
“It was like two ships passing, because one of us was always in a relationship, and we never crossed that boundary. We respected that,” he explained.
In a post-reunion interview with The Hollywood Reporter after the special, Friends creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane and executive producer-director Kevin Bright weighed in on Aniston and Schwimmer’s chemistry, which they confirmed was obvious to everyone on set.
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“It was a very hot topic on the set because the electricity between them in the scenes was like, ‘Oh my God, they can’t be acting that, there’s got to be something!’ Everybody was suspicious that something was going on,” Bright explained. “…We all thought something might have been going on because they were just so good together.”
The fact that the actors were crushing on each other “was pretty obvious,” according to Kauffman—but the creators made a point never to ask Aniston or Schwimmer about any real life romance.
“We didn’t know for sure because we never asked either of them, but yes, we thought that perhaps might be going on,” she said. “It did not wind up inspiring [Ross and Rachel’s storyline] honestly at all. If anything, their ability to channel those feelings into Ross and Rachel just made the longing all the more relatable.”
This story first appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US