Spoilers for Friends: The Reunion ahead.
Ross and Rachel could have been a real-life couple.
In the Friends reunion special on HBO Max, David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston, who played the famous couple on-screen, revealed that they had feelings for each other while filming Season 1 of the hit sit-com. They recalled flirting and getting cozy on set, including cuddling and spooning on the couch during rehearsal.
“The first season, I had a major crush on Jen,” Schwimmer said, now 27 years after Friends‘ debut in 1994. “At some point, we were both crushing hard on each other.”
But they never got together. “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 added.
Aniston confessed, “I remember saying one time to David, ‘It’s gonna be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kissed is gonna be on national television.’ And sure enough, the first time we kissed was in that coffee shop. But we just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel.”
As if we weren’t reeling enough from this revelation, the pair went on to do a table read of Ross and Rachel’s first kiss as clips of the original scene played on-screen. The special also included behind-the-scenes footage of Aniston and Schwimmer being playful and close on-set during Friends‘ early years.
“I thought back on the very first year or two, when we would have breaks from rehearsal, there were moments when we would cuddle on the couch,” Schwimmer recalled.
“We would spoon and fall asleep on the couch,” Aniston remembered.
Schwimmer wondered how no one in the cast was aware that he and his co-star “were crushing on each other,” but Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry (Monica and Chandler!) quickly shut him down.
“We knew,” Perry said.
“We knew for sure,” Cox assured.
Schwimmer added that he and Aniston “couldn’t do anything about” their deep feelings for each other, hence why they never became a real-life couple, but perhaps that was for the best.
Cox explained, referencing Ross and Rachel’s on-screen dynamic, “If you had, and it didn’t work out, it would have not probably been as great.”
Friends: The Reunion is now streaming on HBO Max. Watch Now
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