Imagine this: The One Where Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer Were a Real-Life Couple and Lived Happily Ever After Making Our Favourite TV Show Even More Special.
Okay, so that is an offensively long title for a sitcom episode but we can’t help wishing it were true after the two Friends stars revealed that they had feelings for each other during the early days of filming the hit series.
During Friends: The Reunion which landed on BINGE on May 27, James Corden interviewed Schwimmer and Aniston, along with their co-stars Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and Courtney Cox, about their memories of making the series — asking if there had ever been any romance between the actors.
Dropping a huge bombshell, Schwimmer revealed that he had had a “huge crush” on Aniston during the filming of the first season with Aniston admitting it was reciprocated.
“At some point, we were both crushing hard on each other, 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,” Schwimmer said.
Added Aniston, “I remember saying to you, ‘It’s going to be such a bummer if the first time we kiss is on national television…’ And sure enough, we did.”
Given that the pair never explored their relationship offscreen, the actors said that they channelled all of their adoration for one another into their characters and their on-again, off-again relationship.
While visiting the Warner Bros. lot where they filmed Friends, Schwimmer reminisced about the fact that he and Aniston would often cuddle on the couch in Monica’s apartment during breaks.
“We would spoon and fall asleep on the couch,” Aniston said.
Added Schwimmer, “And I’m thinking … ‘How did not everyone know we were crushing on each other?’” to which their co-stars replied that they did, in fact, know.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter executive producer and director Kevin Bright said, “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. People made up their own rumours and at a certain point. But we all thought something might have been going on because they were just so good together. We were so invested in Ross and Rachel, like the rest of you. There was something about them.
“But like the show, in a certain way, you had to wait a long time and then it never happened. The happy ending is in the show.”
And, as Cox pointed out, it was probably for the best that the two kept things platonic.
“How great though, ultimately, because if you had, and it didn’t work out, it would’ve probably not been as great,” Cox said.
Although we technically agree with her, there is something about seeing a real-life couple on-screen that can make a television series even more enticing. Think of Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody as Summer and Seth in The O.C., or Kit Harington & Rose Leslie as Jon Snow and Ygritte in Game of Thrones.
While we will forever be so glad that Rachel got off the plane and she and Ross, presumably, lived happily ever after, it’s wild to think that the same could have been true for the actors who brought them to life.