There’s a good reason that Friends‘ Ross and Rachel’s heartache and longing felt so real during the first two seasons of the hit comedy. It’s because off-screen, David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston had actual crushes on each other!
The pair made the surprising admission during the May 27 HBO Max reunion for the hit NBC sitcom. Host James Corden asked the cast if any of them had secret real-life romances, and Jen, 52, looked over at her costar and slyly replied, “David?”
“I mean, the first season, I had a major crush on Jen. At some point, we were crushing hard on each other,” the 54-year-old actor admitted. The Morning Show actress revealed she felt the same way, saying “It was reciprocated.”
However, real-life romances kept the two from ever hooking up. “It was like two ships passing, because one of us was always in a relationship and we never crossed that boundary. We respected that,” David explained. His costar Matt LeBlanc, 53, wasn’t buying it, joking with a cough while saying “bullsh*t.”
Jennifer went on to recall, “Honestly, I remember saying one time to 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, first time we kissed was in that coffee shop.” She added, “So we just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel.”
That moment was a season and a half in the making and turned out to be one of the most romantic scenes in Friends‘ 10-year run. Ross and Rachel had a blowout fight after finally admitted their true feelings for each other, but thought that they had been too late to act on their emotions.
Ross ended up storming out of Central Perk into a downpour, as Rachel furiously locked the doors behind him. But they were immediately drawn back together, with Ross standing in the pouring rain looking at his true love. She eventually opened the doors for the pair to share their first passionate kiss in the doorway of Central Perk in the middle of a rainstorm.
For anyone on the planet who seen this iconic TV moment, it takes place in season two, episode 7 “The One Where Ross Finds Out.” The entire 10-year run of Friends can be streamed on HBO Max.