Bennifer who? We’ve got a new throwback romance story of a love that never had the chance to bloom, between Friends co-stars Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer.
During the long-awaited Friends: The Reunion special that’s now streaming on HBO Max, the real-life Ross and Rachel casually dropped a bomb by confirming the longstanding rumors hat they actually had feelings for each other in real life, Yahoo! Entertainment reports. “The first season, I had a major crush on Jen,” Schwimmer revealed. “We were both crushing hard on each other.” Aniston quickly backed up his version of events, saying that those feelings couldn’t be any more mutual.
The actors never acted on their romantic interest in each other, unlike their characters. Schwimmer explained, “It was two ships passing, because one of us was always in a relationship. We never crossed that boundary — we respected it.” After Schwimmer insisted that he and Aniston never went beyond the pining stage, Matt LeBlanc semi-jokingly yelled “bulls—!”
The remaining co-stars — Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Perry — made it clear they knew the two had chemistry. Cox said, “We knew for sure,” adding that she’s glad the two never acted on their feelings back then. “If you had, and didn’t work out, [the show] probably wouldn’t have been as great.”
Aniston pointed out that the feelings she and Schwimmer had for each other provided the dramatic fuel that turned them into one of the defining TV couples of the 1990s. “We channeled all of that passion and love for each other into Ross and Rachel,” she said, adding that things came to a head when their alter egos had their first kiss in the Season 2 episode, “The One Where Ross Finds Out.” Aniston recalled telling 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.’ Sure enough, the first time we kissed was in that coffee shop.”
In reality, both actors moved past their mutual crush and fell for other people. Schwimmer dated singer Natalie Imbruglia in the ’90s and later married artist Zoë Buckman in 2007, divorcing ten years later. Aniston has had high-profile marriages and splits from Brad Pitt and Justin Theroux.
But it seems that there is still a spark between Jen and Dave in the Friends reunion. They re-enacted the pivotal coffee shop kiss (sans-smooch) in a table read of that script, with the pair regarding each other with obvious affection. And Twitter swooned at the revelation of their secret romance: