Girl next door, Jennifer Aniston, won our hearts as Rachel in the cult sitcom Friends, and for 10 years we were arguing over whether or not they were on a break. However, whilst we were glued to the greatest series on TV, Jennifer Aniston was also paving out an impressive career as she transitioned from quirky Polly, to heartbroken Brooke, to the sex crazed Dr. Julia Harris, all the while taking on the more serious and dark roles in films like Friends with Money, The Good Girl, and Derailed.
As we celebrate her latest film Cake, which gained her critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination, we take a look back at how Hollywood's sweetheart went from a rom-com star to an awards contender over her 25-year-long career.
Office Space (1999)
Not a huge box office hit at the time, Office Space is now a comedy classic and Aniston's on-the-job banter among its most quotable moments. Fun fact: those pieces of flair Jennifer Aniston repeatedly bitched about in Office Space were based on the real life buttons many servers actually had to wear at the time at a number of chain restaurants. A few years after the film came out, however, the chain discontinued the use of flair, reportedly, because of the film.
The Good Girl (2002)
In 2002, Aniston flirted with critical acclaim after the release of her black comedy The Good Girl, which starred the actress as an unsatisfied store clerk who cheats on her boring husband with a stock boy (Jake Gyllenhaal). This was to be Aniston’s break away from her comedic role on Friends and she pulled it off, winning a number of awards.
Bruce Almighty (2003)
In her role as Grace Connelly, Aniston is up against physical comedian Jim Carrey as her boyfriend, Bruce Nolan. Years of perfecting comedic timing on Friends paid off, as Aniston lived up to the challenge of starring alongside one of the funniest men around and Bruce Almighty remains her highest grossing film to date.
Marley & Me (2008)
Despite its famously depressing ending, Marley & Me struck all the right chords with JenAn fans (and anyone who’s ever owned a naughty pet). The role is both humorous and emotional and Aniston does a wonderful job playing a wife, mother and dog-lover, despite not having a husband or kids in real life.
Horrible Bosses (2011)
Aniston set tongues wagging as she showed off her naughty side in this occasionally raunchy 2011 comedy (and sequel in 2014). Jen plays a nymphomaniac dentist, making the life of her male collegue very awkward, whilst putting her own life at risk, Strangers on a Train-style. If there were non-believers out there, Aniston convinced us that Rachel has well and truly been left behind.
We're The Millers (2013)
We’re the Millers is at right at the top of Aniston’s most comedic and risqué roles to date. Playing a stripper who turns into a mother as part of a fake family created to smuggle drugs into Mexico, she’s got plenty of jokes and flesh to share with the audience. Nerve one to shy away from a challenge, there is not a whiff of Rachel in this role and we were happy about it.
Cake is arguably Jennifer Aniston’s darkest and most serious role to date, as she delivers a stunning, performance, which arrives in cinemas February 20th. The Friends star plays Claire Simmons, a woman suffering from chronic pain after a harrowing accident who now winces with each tentative step. With scars that line her body, Jennifer Aniston’s performance is emotional, raw and unlike anything you’ve seen before - making Cake a must see film this February.