He’s her lobster! Even longtime Friends fans were shocked during the HBO Max reunion special, which dropped on Thursday, May 27, when Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer revealed that they were “crushing hard” on each other at the beginning of the series.
So, were producers Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane aware? Not exactly.
“It was a very hot topic on the set because the electricity between them in the scenes was like, ‘Oh, my God, they can’t be acting that, there’s got to be something!’ Everybody was suspicious that something was going on,” Bright, 66, told The Hollywood Reporter of the costars. “People made up their own rumors at a certain point. But we all thought something might have been going on because they were just so good together. We were so invested in Ross and Rachel, like the rest of you. There was something about them. But like the show, in a certain way, you had to wait a long time and then it never happened. The happy ending is in the show.”
Kauffman, 64, noted that the costars’ love for one another was “pretty obvious,” but they never asked Schwimmer, 54, or Aniston, 52, if they were actually pursuing each other off screen.
“We thought that perhaps might be going on. It did not wind up inspiring [Ross and Rachel’s story line] honestly at all,” she shared. “If anything, their ability to channel those feelings into Ross and Rachel just made the longing all the more relatable.”
Bright also noted that had the actors been in a relationship, he wouldn’t have chimed in. “You’ve got to let these things take their course,” the director said. “You don’t want to get involved in actors’ personal lives, then you’re really in trouble as a producer. We never did because nobody saw anything, nobody found anything. It was just rumors that were all based on how good they were as actors.”
During the reunion special, the American Crime Story alum noted that he had “a major crush on Jen,” to which she responded, “It was reciprocated.”
Schwimmer explained that they were “like two ships passing because one of us was always in a relationship,” noting that they never “crossed that boundary.” At one point, however, they did discuss it.
“I remember saying one time to David, ‘It’s gonna be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is going to be on national television,'” the Morning Show actress divulged. “Sure enough, the first time we kissed was in that coffee shop. We just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel.”
The cast also was aware of their interest in one another — even though Schwimmer didn’t know that they knew!
“I thought back on the very first year or two, you know, when we had breaks from rehearsal, there were moments we would cuddle on the couch,” he said. Aniston added, “We would spoon and fall asleep.”
Friends: The Reunion is now streaming on HBO Max.