Sandra Bullock Dishes on Her First Impression of Jennifer Aniston

When two women become close friends, it’s a little bit magical. When those women are both accomplished actors, everyone wants to know more about it. Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Aniston are two such friends. Although they’re both busy, well-known stars, they haven’t worked together on a project. But although it wasn’t a shared script that brought them together, it was something else they shared. 

What took these remarkable women so long to meet, and how did it finally happen? 

Sandra Bullock shows no signs of slowing down

Sandra Bullock in yellow, laughing in front of the Golden Globes repeating background
Sandra Bullock | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

Bullock started her Hollywood career in the late 80s, but it was the 1994 blockbuster movie Speed that made her a household name. After that breakthrough hit, she worked steadily in movies. She played a charming girl-next-door type in lighthearted movies like Hope Floats and more serious roles like author Harper Lee in the Truman Capote biopic Infamous. She won an Oscar for her performance in The Blind Side in 2009.

In 2018, Bullock was in the all-woman spinoff of the Oceans Trilogy franchise, Ocean’s 8. Just last year she starred in Bird Box, the Netflix movie that people couldn’t stop talking about. 

Jennifer Aniston’s long career

Aniston has also been a busy actor for decades, but she’s probably best known for two things: her role as Rachel on the television mega-hit Friends, and her messy divorce from actor Brad Pitt.

Like Bullock, Aniston’s big breakthrough role came in 1994, when Friends hit the airwaves. She was on the show for its entire 10-year run, inspiring a generation of women to copy Rachel’s hairstyle. She won a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for her part in the show. 

Aniston has had a number of roles since she left Rachel behind in movies like Office SpaceHorrible Bosses, Cake, and Dumplin’. Recently, she’s appeared in the Apple TV+ drama The Morning Show.

They met in an unusual way

Considering they’re both strong, successful women, it’s no surprise that Aniston and Bullock are friends. But although they did meet at one of Hollywood’s glamorous awards shows, the way they were introduced was a little unexpected. 

It turns out that Bullock and Aniston had both dated the same man. Actor Tate Donovan went out with Bullock for four years, a relationship that was so serious that they were rumored to be engaged. They broke up in 1994 and he started dating Aniston just a few weeks later. That relationship didn’t last long, possibly because Donovan wasn’t ready to get serious yet. 

But although he didn’t stay romantically involved with either woman, he did give them both a pretty big gift. Years later at the 2010 Golden Globes, he introduced the two. They hit it off, and when they ran into each other a little while later at a mutual friend’s wedding they sealed the friendship with some shots. As Bullock said to Aniston about that night, “if I’m not mistaken, that was the first time I got sick drinking with you.”

Sandra Bullock’s first impression

The women obviously knew about each other – they were so famous that just about everyone knew about them. But for some reason, they’d never met. From what she knew about Aniston, Bullock hoped she was as genuine and open-hearted as she seemed.   

“You allowed yourself to look foolish, heartbroken, clumsy, like an idiot. I think that’s why everyone feels so comfortable in your presence. You said, ‘Yeah, I might look like this, but guess what? I have the same failings and insecurities you do.’ I remember thinking, ‘God, I hope she’s really like that. If she’s not, I’m going to be so bummed.'”

Apparently Aniston was just as authentic and kind as she appeared to be, because the two are now fast friends. As for why it took so long? She figures that’s just how it worked out, saying, “I think everything happens in its own time, and I think for whatever reason, life had to happen in both of our worlds the way it did.”

Everyone who knows what it’s like to have a good friend is happy for them that it did.