What Was Jennifer Aniston’s First Major Film Role?
Everyone knows her as Rachel Green on Friends. Most know her as Brad Pitt‘s ex, as well. Nonetheless, Jennifer Aniston had a lot going on before Pitt or her hit television show. What was Jennifer Aniston’s first major film role? We were wondering, too.
Here’s what we found out
On February 11, 1969, in Sherman Oaks, California, Jennifer Joanna Aniston was born into a busy acting family. Her dad, John Aniston, was a soap opera star and her mom, Nancy Dow, made guest appearances on TV shows such as The Beverly Hillbillies and The Wild Wild West.
Jen spent one childhood year living in Greece with her family, says IMDB, and attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan. According to those who knew her, young Aniston was very active in the drama department, and started appearing in stage plays toward the end of the 1980s.
In 1988, Aniston made a small, uncredited appearance as a dancer in a fast food restaurant in a rather forgettable flick called Mac and Me. Two years later, the actress landed a regular gig as Courtney Walker on the television series Malloy. Aniston worked on all seven episodes, of the short-lived series which debuted and ended in 1990.
We can’t be certain, but it may have been her stunning performance in a Malloy episode entitled “The Day the Squirrel Cried” that got Aniston noticed by the makers of her first important film.
Before she made it to the big time
After Malloy, Aniston landed a starring part in a made-for-TV movie, Camp Cucamonga. The 1990 cinematic romp was fun, but it wasn’t her first major film role. That would come after she spent a few years as Jeannie on the television series Ferris Bueller.
Aniston’s first big box office movie
Trivia buffs may already know, but those who only know her from Friends might find Aniston’s first major film role to be a bit surprising. The year was 1993, her character’s name was Tory Reding, and the movie was an unintentionally hilarious horror flick called Leprechaun.
Now a cult classic, Leprechaun told the implausible tale of a leprechaun who goes on a killing spree while searching for his fabled pot o’gold. Not well received by critics, but inordinately popular at midnight movie fests, Leprechaun also starred Ken Olandt, Mark Holton, and Pamela Mant. Warwick Davis portrayed the murderous little person.
Post-Leprechaun life for Aniston
About a year after Leprechaun, Aniston snagged the role that would make her a household name all around the world. Friends, which also starred Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer, ran for a remarkable 10 seasons before wrapping it up in 2004.
When Leprechaun Returns made it to movie houses 2018, Aniston did not reprise her role. In fact, she is not expected to appear in any sequel in the Leprechaun franchise. Last year’s movie explained Aniston’s absence by noting that her character had gone insane and perished after encountering the leprechaun, but not before having a daughter, Lila.
Toward the end of Leprechaun Returns, a voice is heard that sounds eerily like Aniston. It’s not. Actually, the voice of Lila’s deceased mom was provided by Aniston impersonator, Heather McDonald, explains Bloody Disgusting magazine.
What she’s up to today
Currently, Aniston is working on a new Apple project with Reese Witherspoon. As yet untitled, the upcoming show which also stars Steve Carell will be co-produced by Witherspoon and Aniston. Conceived by House of Cards writer, Jay Carson, the show will provide a behind-the-scenes peek at the people who ‘help America wake up in the morning.’ Release date has not been set, but Apple has already snagged two seasons of the as yet unnamed show, according to Vogue magazine.