Jennifer Aniston's exes Paul Rudd, Tate Donovan say working with her on 'Friends' was awkward and painful
A number of Jennifer Aniston's boyfriends have starred in the cult sitcom 'Friends' and while Brad Pitt was one of those lucky ones who appeared on the show when he was in a relationship with the actress, many of them shot their scenes after they had broken up with her, which made the experience of filming the episodes really awkward.
One such person was Paul Rudd, who years later went onto score the lead in the hit Marvel franchise 'Antman' and also starred in the biggest movie of all time, 'Avengers: Endgame.' He started dating Aniston in 1998 while working on the film 'Object of My Affection'.
The first time he was cast on 'Friends' was in 2002 for the character of Mike who went onto date and later marry Pheobe, played by Lisa Kudrow. Speaking on 'The Graham Norton Show' last year, he admitted that the show “was an incredible thing to be a part of, and the whole experience seemed a bit surreal and a bit of a blur.”
By the time he started shooting his scenes on the sitcom, things were awkward because his ex-flame was already married to someone else. His character also appeared on the show's final episode.
“I was only coming on for a couple of episodes, it turned into a few more,” Rudd said. “It was nearing the end of the show, which was a phenomenon … I was in the last episode, which made no sense to me whatsoever.”
While shooting his scenes for the last episode, he saw Aniston getting overwhelmed with emotions and hugging 'Friends' co-creator Marta Kauffman. In an attempt to lighten the mood, he tried to make a joke that did not land right.
"I thought, I’m not supposed to be there. So to break the ice I went over and just went, 'We did it, huh? What a ride.' The joke inevitably fell flat," he said.
Tate Donovan, also recalled in a 2013 interview how painful it was to work with Aniston on 'Friends' where he was cast as Rachel’s crush, Joshua. Although he was reportedly cast on the request of the actress who was dating him, by the time they started filming his scenes, the pair had broken up.
"It was horrible. It was so tough, man. I remember just getting back to my dressing room and just weeping," Donovan recalled.
Even Pitt had a less-than-pleasant experience shooting his scenes for the superhit sitcom but it had nothing to do with his relationship with Aniston, as the two of them were already married by the time he appeared on the show in 2001 as an old high school friend of Rachel and Monica (played by Courteney Cox) who hated Rachel.
Pitt's experience of shooting for the show was marred by the fact that he was not used to shooting for TV shows. “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 told Access Hollywood last year. “We had to stop and start again.