How Jennifer Aniston convinced Brad Pitt to appear on 'Friends' as a guest star despite his hesitation
Jennifer Aniston shot to global fame after bagging a lead role on blockbuster sitcom 'Friends'. According to HollywoodLife, the star provided the necessary push for Brad Pitt to make a guest appearance on the hit show, despite reports of "hesitation" from her then-husband. Pitt, a critically-acclaimed actor in his own right, reportedly wasn't too keen about appearing on Season 8 episode 'The One with the Rumor'.
'Friends' creator David Crane hinted to the tabloid outlet that Aniston, who married Pitt in 2000 before the pair divorced in 2005, played an instrumental role in convincing the Hollywood hunk to go ahead with the now-famous cameo.
"I think [there was] a little bit [of hesitation]. Only because he’d never done TV in front of an audience, and it's a very specific skill set," Crane told HollywoodLife. "I think it's probably a little intimidating if you haven't done it before. Obviously, it was up to him, and it was up to [Jennifer], and it was just a great piece of casting."
"When he said yes, we were thrilled," he added.
As expected, the cameo was an absolute hit among viewers as well as the cast. According to the Daily Mirror, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Pitt to star in an episode after having visited Aniston on set several times during the course of their marriage. However, Pitt reportedly did his best to keep out of sight from the audience and not cause a distraction as he didn't want to steal the spotlight from his then-wife.
Pitt has previously touched on his brief appearance on the hit show, revealing how he messed up the first line of the episode and they had to do a retake. "I remember it. It's a great cast, man. I mean, they laugh and really have a great time with each other. But I flubbed my first line," he recalled. "We had to stop and start again." Nonetheless, Pitt's memorable guest appearance would eventually get him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.
Before Pitt and Aniston could get back to being friends or as rumor would have it, lovers, they had to traverse on a long path of forgiving and forgetting that started with the 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' actor taking the first step and admitting that he was wrong.
Back in 2005, when their marriage fell apart after Pitt took a shining to his 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' co-star Angelina Jolie, Anniston was reportedly left hurt and heartbroken. So when Pitt got divorced for the second time in 2016, from Angelina, he had enough insight to realize that what he had put his first wife through was unfair. As a result, he decided to apologize to her with the intention of mending his friendship with Anniston.
“Brad is in such a different place than he was when they were together. Brad is truly an introspective guy who has worked hard on himself. He has apologized to her for many things he felt were his issues in their relationship. He truly takes ownership for his mistakes and that has changed their relationship with each other today. They both have moved on. Right now they just love and adore each other and have been much closer friends since their divorces. Brad has grown so much in his life since he and Jen broke up," an insider told Entertainment Tonight in January this year.