Jennifer Aniston could have had a very different career path.
The 50-year-old actress appeared on The Howard Stern Show — in the show’s first West Coast broadcast in 20 years from SiriusXM’s new Hollywood studio — and talked about a little-known fact about her early days in show business. Aniston met with Saturday Night Live creator and producer Lorne Michaels before she got her beloved role as Rachel in Friends, and Michaels wanted her to be a part of the legendary sketch show. Aniston said she talked to Michaels, but, ultimately, the gig wasn’t for her.
“I didn’t think I would like that environment,” she explained. “I remember showing up and [Adam] Sandler was there and [David] Spade was there and I’d known them already and they were like, “Look at, Aniston’s here!'”
Aniston also recalled boldly giving Michaels her two cents about the environment at SNL at the time.
“I went to talk with him, I was such a young twit,” she joked. “I was like, ‘I think the women need to be treated better here, and I don’t …’ because it was such a boys’ club. You’re just not the brightest when you’re in your early 20s. I didn’t lecture, I was just saying what I would hope if I was to do this, what I would hope it to be.”
Aniston acknowledged she was taken aback when people early in her career pointed out her comedic chops, though she was attempting to be a serious actor.
“I wasn’t upset, I was just thrown,” she said.
When Stern noted that it was “insulting” to her, she replied, “little bit.”
Of course, Aniston has now shown she’s just as great in more dramatic films, with critics praising her performances in 2003’s The Good Girl and 2014’s Cake. Her latest project is the highly anticipated Apple TV + series The Morning Show, in which she plays veteran TV anchor Alex Levy, who is pitted against a younger reporter, Bradley Jackson, played by Reese Witherspoon.
The actress recently talked about turning 50 and her own experience with ageism in the industry.
“Fifty was the first time I thought, ‘Well, that number,'” she told InStyle. “I don’t know what it is because I don’t feel any different. Things aren’t shutting down in any way. I feel physically incredible. So it’s weird that it’s all of a sudden getting telegraphed in a way that’s like, ‘You look amazing for your age.’ I think we need to establish some etiquette around that dialogue and verbiage.”
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