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Why was Jennifer Aniston the breakout star of Friends?

I never expected her to be the breakout star of Friends. She's not particularly beautiful and Lisa Kudrow was way more talented than her. I think she got bigger and bigger because people felt sorry that her husband fucked and married another woman. Being in the tabloids because of that whole situation has also I think been a factor in her longevity.

by Anonymousreply 62Last Monday at 2:34 PM

"Friends" was more popular with women than it was with men, and they needed someone to identify with. Phoebe was too weird, and Monica was too pretty . Rachel was more ordinary looking, and had no special talents but just an urge to break out of an old constricting identity and find a happy new life.

by Anonymousreply 106/27/2020

I think Kudrow has had a much more interesting, varied career. Aniston usually plays it safe with forgettable rom-coms.

by Anonymousreply 206/27/2020

She had a really cute haircut and Kudrow was much older and was miscast playing a dummy.

by Anonymousreply 306/27/2020

It was so "cute", every ugly woman in Britain got that haircut. And there are TONS of ugly chicks in Britain.

by Anonymousreply 406/27/2020

I think everyone in the cast knew Lisa Kudow was the only real talent in the group.

by Anonymousreply 506/27/2020

I disagree, OP. She was extremely popular on Friends *way* before Brad came into the picture.

People liked her because she was adorable and had excellent comic timing. Good haircut, looked terrific in clothes, nice skin, big blue eyes. The mid-season nose job helped.

She had that “it” factor at that moment and was the breakout star of the show.

by Anonymousreply 606/27/2020

Hair & Brad Pitt. Brad made all his gf famous.

by Anonymousreply 706/27/2020

Aniston had a background in sketch comedy and had good comic timing. She was also offbeat pretty and and could exude a fun and low-key sexuality, which neither Kudrow or Cox could do.

by Anonymousreply 806/27/2020

Lisa had big butt and a bad nose job. Despite that she was way more talented than the other gifts and has great comic timing.

I think she should've got a Supporting Actress nod for The Opposite of Sex. Unfortunately, her shitbombs. Marci X and Lucky Numbers pretty much killed her film career.

Didn't Matt LeBlanc have a film when his costar was a monkey? 🐒

by Anonymousreply 906/27/2020

I wonder how Courtney Cox feels, always playing second fiddle to Jen and being the only main cast member not to receive an Emmy nom (which she definitely deserved).

by Anonymousreply 1006/27/2020

*Girls NOT gifts

by Anonymousreply 1106/27/2020

Kudrow probably just missed out on an Oscar nomination for The Opposite of Sex but she is actually a fine dramatic actress on top her comic talents. She's a comidienne first as a Groundlings alumni but she is actually a very talented dramatic actress.

by Anonymousreply 1206/27/2020

Some things are simply beyond the arcane and not ever to be understood.

by Anonymousreply 1306/27/2020

I think the fact that Aniston’s character grew and developed in ways the other five did not also played a part. Rachel started out as a spoiled brat who could barely serve coffee and ends the series as a high-powered executive with some self-awareness. Watch a season 1 episode and a season 10 episode, and the only character that feels markedly different is Rachel.

Plus the Ross romance was catnip to viewers back then, and that obsession carried over into Aniston’s personal life.

by Anonymousreply 1406/27/2020

I couldn't stand that show and probably watched only three or four episodes before giving up on it, but I do find Aniston rather effective with certain types of roles.

I think she has good comic timing and would have been better off if she had been typecast as a quirky, offbeat comic actress rather than as a glamorous leading lady of rom coms. I know she is a frau favorite but I like her. She has a certain charm which comes across on the screen even when the movie is an absolute stinker.

by Anonymousreply 1506/27/2020

I think Christina Applegate is similar to Aniston in some ways. But I think I like Applegate more as an actress.

by Anonymousreply 1606/27/2020

Because this, OP:

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by Anonymousreply 1706/28/2020

...And this:

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by Anonymousreply 1806/28/2020

She has the best publicist/PR team that money can buy. Remember when Men's Health put her on the cover because she was "voted" Sexiest Woman Of All Time in 2011? She beat Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, Raquel Welch, Sophia Loren and dozens of sexier, far more famous women. She wasn't even the sexiest woman on Friends. The internet had fun mocking that paid-for honor.

It's PR bullshit, just like the voice-over in Aniston's first Aveeno commercial, when she is called "the beautiful Jennifer Aniston". RME. Her image is smoke and mirrors and so was her 2nd "marriage" (there's no proof of a marriage license). The sad thing is that people buy into it, especially those soccer-mom frauen who identify with her. Plus, her milking of the jilted wife narrative after Brad got with Angelina ensured she had the public's lasting sympathy.

by Anonymousreply 1906/28/2020

Her dad was one of the biggest soap opera stars in America. Having family access to Hollywood insiders and publicists helps. They can make a star out of anybody, for the right price. {cough cough}{Kardashians}

by Anonymousreply 2006/28/2020

R19, you're absolutely correct. I was 14 when 'Friends' premiered and was struggling to fit in my freshman year of high school. 'Friends' was all anyone talked about, so I began watching after a couple of eps. Aniston was absolutely the weakest link of the show, but somehow began to personify that later 90s/early 00s anorexic beauty queen persona, and also had that "magical haircut." (Before anyone attacks, this was totally the en vogue case at the time...I remember a front page story in 'People' comparing Sarah Michelle Gellar's weight--98 lbs--to Aniston's--maybe 104 lbs or so. Most of that weight was probably their layered hair...they were both emaciated.) As a young, gay man with body dysmorphia issues, I compared my weight to both of theirs, and even asked my sister if she thought I could get down to SMG's weight. I was 112 lbs at the time soaking wet, and my sister told me I was already too skinny. But back to Aniston--the Brad Pitt thing was what catapulted her to the heavenly realms of frau fairy tales and aspirations (and even the gay ones). Courteney could've easily done the same, but she latched on to hokey David Arquette and clung to him for her life. Remember once when the whole opening credits of 'Friends' was all the cast with "Arquette" hyphenated to their last names, like Courteney? Aniston was too cool for all that shit.

by Anonymousreply 2106/28/2020

Women found her accessible and men found her sexy. Oh and I understand cats and dogs liked her scent.

by Anonymousreply 2206/28/2020

She comes across as likable without being a try-hard. Of course, she may be trying hard. But she's effective at it in a way few current actresses (see: J. Law, AnnE) are.

Plus, great PR and canonization as the saint of perpetually wronged women that's endeared her to millions of lonely gals who don't dig deeper than rom-coms and passable sitcoms for solace.

by Anonymousreply 2306/28/2020

She was the TV equivalent of Julia Roberts. Pretty, but in a non-threatening way. Limited in talent, so played similar versions of herself in all of her projects. I wouldn't say I'm a big fan, but I do respect that once she found her lane she stayed in it.

by Anonymousreply 2406/28/2020

She had a fat oily face

by Anonymousreply 2506/28/2020

Her hair.

by Anonymousreply 2606/28/2020

She was always perfectly groomed: precise makeup, perfect bouncy highlighted hair, taut little yoga body, a few tiny gold rings, earrings. It was a look suburban women strive for and it never varies.

by Anonymousreply 2706/28/2020

[quote]there are TONS of ugly chicks in Britain

Hear, hear!

by Anonymousreply 2806/28/2020

Aniston is likeable.

by Anonymousreply 2906/28/2020

She had Brad when he was hot. He started descending into crazy mountain man territory after he got with Angelina.

by Anonymousreply 3006/28/2020

She had good anal hygiene.

by Anonymousreply 3106/28/2020

Old white actors portraying characters 10 years younger then they actually are, none to minimal jobs but they still can afford to live in a rent-controlled apartment in New York that is free of any Black, Hispanic or Asian people.

OK, Boomer

by Anonymousreply 3206/28/2020

Idiot alert!

by Anonymousreply 3306/28/2020

Wasn't she single when she started in "Friends?"

Everybody wants the hot, pretty blonde.

by Anonymousreply 3406/28/2020

R16 I guess that's why they played sisters on Friends.

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by Anonymousreply 3506/28/2020

R35, yes. And Reese.

by Anonymousreply 3606/28/2020

Even on "the Edge" with Julie Brown, she was coming close to upstaging Brown, which is NOT EASY.

She had talent back then, but she had her original nose. Got that fixed and she was set to take off.

by Anonymousreply 3706/28/2020

[quote] Her image is smoke and mirrors and so was her 2nd "marriage" (there's no proof of a marriage license)

She’s worth more than Theroux. She’s smart.

by Anonymousreply 3806/28/2020

She wasn’t conventionally beautiful but that made her more compelling. She had awesome hair, beautiful eyes and even at her thinnest had a curvy, sexy body. Courtney Cox’s features are more perfect, but that only made her look kinda boring. Friends was conceived as a vehicle for Cox, no one expected Jen to be the breakout star.

by Anonymousreply 3906/28/2020

I enjoyed Christina Applegate and Reese Witherspoon as Rachel's villainous sisters, even though I was never quite convinced of them as Rachel's sisters, owing to Aniston's Grecian/Mediterranean heritage - however, Marlo Thomas and Ron Leibman were perfectly cast as her parents, and they were just great.

by Anonymousreply 4006/28/2020

Because note for note, she stole Teri Garr's act. People love Garr. I bet Jennifer was nervous when they cast her on Friends.

by Anonymousreply 4106/28/2020

R39 Friends was conceived as an ensemble and Cox had to audition like everyone else. As the “biggest star” of the group she did make the most money starting out, but that was remedied rather quickly.

by Anonymousreply 4206/28/2020

r41; impartial thread post

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by Anonymousreply 4306/28/2020

Wasn't Cox offered the "starring" Rachel role, but turned it down and chose Monica instead?

by Anonymousreply 4406/28/2020

T44 yes. If memories serves she auditioned to play Rachel, was offered the part, but then asked to play Monica instead. Aniston, after getting the part, almost got recast at the last second because she was involved with another sitcom.

by Anonymousreply 4506/28/2020

it's funny how things work out - Matthew Perry nearly didn't play Chandler because he was committed to another show, he tells a funny story about it. I think he was the one who was helping his fellow actors audition for the role, coaching them to act more like Chandler Bing/him!

by Anonymousreply 4606/28/2020

What an important thread! Our Jen certainly doesn't get her fair share of media coverage.

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by Anonymousreply 4706/28/2020

I disagree with OP's premise. I think they were all breakout, and at different times. David Schwimmer was huge at the end of Season 2, kind of died down by the end. Matthew Perry and Courtney Cox sort of broke out in the middle of the run. Lisa Kudrow has had a very successful post-Friends career, as has Matt Leblanc. I think OP should have posted a poll.

by Anonymousreply 4806/28/2020

[quote]it's funny how things work out - Matthew Perry nearly didn't play Chandler because he was committed to another show

Craig Bierko turned down the role of Chandler.

by Anonymousreply 49Last Monday at 2:37 AM

Denise Richards auditioned for Rachel. She talked in an interview - I want to say it was Howard Stern - about how virtually every working actor in their 20s was trying to get an audition for it. Everyone knew it’d be a success.

by Anonymousreply 50Last Monday at 2:43 AM

It was the haircut.

I was a freshman in college in Missouri, and when my 20-year-old proto-frau co-worker at an off-campus coffee shop showed up with a Rachel cut in spring '95, I knew Aniston would have to be reckoned with for decades to come.

by Anonymousreply 51Last Monday at 2:59 AM

Kudrow was great in The Comeback, but she plays a version of Phoebe in everything she does. She's a limited actress. Aniston is slightly better and Cox is worse. None of the boys are actors, despite Schwimmer's pretensions.

by Anonymousreply 52Last Monday at 3:11 AM

Aniston is an “it-girl”. By its very nature, it can’t be explained. Although from the start, she’s been pretty clear about not ever wanting that for herself, maybe that’s part of it. No doubt she enjoys it, cause she’s a savvy chick who has made a mountain of money, but she doesn’t seems to indulge it. Even during the Brangelina Uprising, she kept her mouth mostly shut.

And she’s talented.

by Anonymousreply 53Last Monday at 3:18 AM

Some people just have that "it" factor. It can't really be explained, or quantified, or whittled down to one thing.

by Anonymousreply 54Last Monday at 3:20 AM

We watched all of Friends when it was on Netflix. Jennifer Aniston is the best of the six. She didn't start out that way, perhaps, but she grew into it.

by Anonymousreply 55Last Monday at 3:38 AM

Courtney was the best known when the show started. She had been in the Bruce video & then was on Famky Ties fir two years (with other projects in between).

by Anonymousreply 56Last Monday at 9:45 AM

[quote] Friends was conceived as a vehicle for Cox, no one expected Jen to be the breakout star.

Really??? I had no idea that was the case. Interesting that Cox and Aniston are best friends. Also, Laura Dern. All three hate Angelina.

by Anonymousreply 57Last Monday at 9:47 AM

[quote] Denise Richards auditioned for Rachel.

Denise Richards was stunning her 20s. And she ended up playing Ross's sexy cousin in a later episode. Ross is attracted to her lol.

by Anonymousreply 58Last Monday at 9:48 AM

Aniston is a good comedic actress but I wish she would take more chances with her roles. I liked her in Good Girl but she seems reluctant to do more films like that.

Kudrow is probably the most talented of the bunch. Loved her in The Comeback. Kudrow was also excellent in The Other Woman. She added a sympathetic aspect to a role that could have just been the stereotypical Type A wealthy bitch.

Cox is the only one who leaves me cold in everything I've seen her in. She's not terrible, just not memorable.

by Anonymousreply 59Last Monday at 10:05 AM

Anniston was good enough in "Cake", though the movie itself was a drag.

by Anonymousreply 60Last Monday at 1:20 PM

What r27 said. She’s a vaguely ethnic but not too ethnic white woman who is completely bland and had bold hair. Other than that Aniston is as exciting as a box of Kleenex.

My friends and I used to take bets on when Brad would wake up and look at her and realize he could do way, way better.

by Anonymousreply 61Last Monday at 1:28 PM

She was on a very popular sitcom and had great hair cut into what would be the most popular hair cut of the decade plus she has the blond-ish/ blue eyes combo that is so coveted. She had/has a very good figure that she's kept up over the years so that's why she became the breakout star. However, she also has, IMO, a very old man face. She doesn't even look like a grandma, it's too masculine for that. She looks like a grandpa. She has a Grandpa face.

by Anonymousreply 62Last Monday at 2:34 PM
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