Matthew Perry has revealed that he asked out Jennifer Aniston and was rejected before they appeared in Friends together.
The pair starred together in the hit sitcom from 1994 to 2004.
In an extract from his memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing published in The Times, Perry explained that only he and Aniston knew each other before the show, having met three years before through mutual acquaintances.
“I was immediately taken by her (how could I not be?) and liked her, and I got the sense she was intrigued too – maybe it was going to be something,” he said.
At the time, Perry had just found out he’d got a part in a sitcom and called Aniston, telling her: “‘You’re the first person I wanted to tell this to.’
“Bad idea,” he wrote. “I could feel ice forming through the phone. Looking back, it was clear that this made her think I liked her too much or in the wrong kind of way… and I only compounded the error by then asking her out.
“She declined (which made it very difficult to actually go out with her), but said that she’d love to be friends with me, and I compounded the compound by blurting, ‘We can’t be friends!’”
Perry said that his attraction to Aniston didn’t fade, but that the pair had been “able to sail right past the past and focus on the fact that we had both gotten the best job Hollywood had to offer” on Friends.
He continued: “Fairly early in the making of Friends I realised that I was still crushing badly on Jennifer Aniston. Our hellos and goodbyes became awkward. And then I’d ask myself, how long can I look at her? Is three seconds too long?
“But that shadow disappeared in the hot glow of the show. (That, and her deafening lack of interest.)”
Perry wasn’t the only Friends cast member who was attracted to Aniston.
Appearing on the show’s reunion special last year, David Schwimmer and Aniston revealed that they almost had a secret off-screen romance during the show’s early seasons.
“The first season I had a major crush on Jen – we were both crushing hard on one another, but it was like two ships passing ‘cause one of us was always in a relationship and we never crossed that boundary,” Schwimmer said.
Aniston said the actor’s feelings were “reciprocated”, adding that the pair would “spoon and fall asleep on the couch” together during breaks in rehearsal.
This article was updated 1 month ago