Sorry, what? It was revealed that Jennifer Aniston was asked to lose a whopping 30 pounds before she was cast as Rachel Green on Friends — the role that catapulted her into superstardom. It’s extremely surprising that she underwent such a serious weight loss. A new book about the beloved sitcom, Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era, divulged that Jennifer didn’t stumble into the role by accident — she put in a lot of hard work to get there.
“She had to lose 30 pounds if she wanted to stay in Hollywood,” author Saul Austerlitz said about the now-50-year-old actress in the page-turner, as reported by Mirror UK. “Los Angeles was a tough place to be an actress — it was a tough place to be a woman — and Jennifer Aniston’s agent was reluctantly leveling with her.”
The book continued, “Aniston was hardly fat — everyone could see she was beautiful — but at the show she would one day become indelibly associated with, later made a point of noting, the camera added ten pounds.”
The demand for stars to be impossibly thin — then and now — is obviously problematic, but Jennifer spoke out about the topic at the time and seemed surprisingly unbothered. The Murder Mystery actress admitted to losing weight to get jobs early in her career during an interview with Rolling Stone in 1996. The impact that the number on the scale had on her career was disappointing but she also recognized the reality of the industry. “My agent gave it to me straight. Nicest thing he ever did … The disgusting thing of Hollywood – I wasn’t getting lots of jobs ’cause I was too heavy,'” she recalled over 20 years ago.
She even confessed that the harsh criticism changed her lifestyle. “I was like, ‘What?!’ But my diet was terrible. Milkshakes and French fries with gravy. It was a good thing to start paying attention,” the A-lister added. It seems like the Horrible Bosses star took the critique to heart because she still has one of the most enviable bodies in Hollywood.
Her trim figure wasn’t the only thing that caught a lot of attention during Friends — which ran from 1994 to 2004. Her hair became such a topic of conversation that a layered cut became known as “The Rachel.” Jennifer hilariously disclosed in October 2018 during the InStyle awards to honor her hairstylist from the show, Chris McMillan, that she wasn’t even able to recreate the look herself.
“I got that haircut and was like, ‘Wow this is amazing,’ and then I was totally left with this frizzy mop on my head because I had no idea how to do what he did,” she revealed during her speech. “Nobody seems to know how to do what Chris does. And I figured out that’s called creating job security.”
Friends is celebrating its 25th anniversary on September 22 and we can still always count on Jennifer to keep it candid!