Friends before Friends: inside Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler's special relationship

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From friends to co-stars, Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler are a hit on and off the screen. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
From friends to co-stars, Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler are a hit on and off the screen. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

When you hear the name Jennifer Aniston a whole bunch of friends will probably come to mind – Phoebe, Monica, Joey, Ross, Chandler...

But Jen has friends in other places too and one of them has been around even longer than the gang who gathered on the pinky-orange couch in Central Perk. The 54-year-old star has been pals with Adam Sandler for more than 30 years and the pair have shared laughs, ripped each other off and appeared together on screen.

And they'll be doing it again soon on Netflix's Murder Mystery 2, exploring their sleuthing skills in the sequel to 2019's Murder Mystery. Jen and Adam (56) have been chatting about their friendship in the run-up to the movie's release on 31 March and Adam told Good Morning America how grateful he was for the fact their bond had grown over the years.

READ MORE | How Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox have remained Friends for decades

“We do love each other, we have fun together. I’ve known this youngster a long time, she’s one of the funniest people I know,” he said. 

“When I say try to be funny, she one-ups me and then I start laughing.”

Having been friends for more than three decades, Adam isn’t shy when it comes to sharing his thoughts on Jen’s dating life. 

“If I get anything from him, it’s, ‘What are you doing?!’, usually based on someone I’m dating,” Jennifer told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.

“He’s always shouting, “What are you doing, what’s wrong with you?!’”

They met plenty of fans while shooting Murder Mystery 2 on location in Hawaii, Paris and London, Adam added.

“It doesn’t matter how famous you are, everyone's looking at Jennifer. They’re fine with me but they love her."

Jennifer and Adam first became friends when she dated one of his friends in the early ‘90s and they bonded over crunchy pickles at Jerry's Deli in Los Angeles.

“I knew I was going to be friends with her. I didn’t know I was going to be making movies with her. We both didn’t know that, we were young and we didn’t have jobs quite then.”

“We were friends before Friends. We love each other. We must have been real family in another life,” Jennifer shared in a 2019 interview with Jimmy Kimmel.

“We are so comfortable with each other. She knows my family very well and I know her family very well,” Adam added.

After meeting, Adam signed up as a writer for Saturday Night Live and Jen stepped into her role as Rachel Green on Friends.

Jennifer and Adam first appeared on the big screen
Jennifer and Adam first appeared on the big screen together in the 2011 romcom Just Go With It. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

The first time they acted alongside each other was in the romcom Just Go With It in 2011.

In Murder Mystery they play a married couple which meant that kissing scenes were often involved. Before puckering up for the camera, the pair would text each other in preparation.

“She would send me texts saying, ‘Nine days till kissing – here it comes. Get ready,” Adam recalls.

His wife, Jackie, got involved in the banter while on set for filming Murder Mystery.

“When we kissed, the only awkward part is hearing my wife on the side go, ‘Harder! Harder! Kiss her harder! Deeper!’.”

Whenever each of the friends had a big event, the other was always present.

In 2011, Adam was awarded the People’s Choice Award for favourite comedic star, which Jen presented it to him. In 2019 he returned the favour by presenting her with a People’s Choice award.

In 2012, Jennifer received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Adam spoke at the ceremony. 

“I love this girl. My wife loves this girl. The entire world loves this girl,” he said.

READ MORE | Wanted: a new man! Jennifer Aniston is finally ready for love again

Adam has also expressed gratitude for Jennifer’s efforts to keep him healthy. 

“She’s certainly not afraid to show up on a set. In my trailer is a whole bunch of whatever shake I should be drinking and it’s usually green. I actually drink it so I can look her in the eye.”

"She and my wife have a nice time tag-teaming to try to make me a healthier human being," he says. "Like, they want me to stretch more — eventually be able to touch my toes."


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