Following the news that two of Hollywood's most luminous female leads are co-starring on an as-yet untitled series about TV morning shows, nobody can fault fans if they're wondering whether Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston are friends in real life. After all, Witherspoon played Rachel Green's spoiled youngest sister, Jill, in two different Season 6 Friends episodes back in 2000, so we know the pair have definitely crossed paths before.
When it comes to their relationship, it isn't really a mystery. Witherspoon described the 48-year-old actor as "a good friend of mine" when interviewed at Access at ELLE’s 18th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute in 2011. In the same interview, she said, "She’s an awesome friend, as you can probably imagine."
The Big Little Liars star expanded on why exactly Aniston is such a valuable friend of hers at the event, explaining that since her appearance on Friends was the first time she had ever appeared on television, she fell victim to stage fright, and it was Aniston who taught her how to get past the issue, telling her that the audience would love it if she flubbed her lines, so just to go ahead and not make a big deal out of it. Witherspoon said,
And while appearing on Conan in 2012, Witherspoon told him, “I have a major girl crush on Jennifer Aniston, but I think that’s, like, doesn’t everybody have a crush on Jennifer Aniston?” She then jokingly suggested she played Jill on Friends just so she could meet the woman she's so into because Aniston is “just so lovable and amazing.”
And the New Orleans native isn't just an admirer of Aniston's. While being interviewed on the red carpet for the 2015 Oscars, Aniston stopped mid-sentence because Witherspoon, on shimmying past, gave her butt a little squeeze. (You can catch this around the :40 second mark below.) It's easy to say nice things about other stars, but this action (and Aniston's lack of shock) suggests that they're close enough that this is appropriate in the context of their friendship.
Apparently, the feeling is mutual. At the same event, the Horrible Bosses star gestured at Witherspoon while on the red carpet and told Entertainment Tonight: "Look at [Reese], she's so cute. So pretty, she's my little sister, even if she's [just] my TV sister."
However, that said, there's little evidence that the pair ever just casually get together for drinks or yoga or intense Friends marathons. While Aniston does not have an Instagram account, Witherspoon does, but mostly posts pictures of herself hanging out with her family. While the idea of the pair hanging out together over coffee is appealing, the reality is probably more on the prosaic side: that the pair are work friends who hang out at industry events but less so in their leisure time.
Still, perhaps all this is set to change. Given the fact that the pair will be both starring in and executive producing the series, which will explore the "larger New York media scene that [both women] inhabit," according to The Hollywood Reporter, it sounds as if they will be spending most of their waking hours together. So keep your eyes peeled and get ready to enjoy a behind-the-scenes Instagram snap of Aniston on Witherspoon's account any day now.