Why Julia Roberts Was Glad She Didn’t Have to Share the Screen With Jennifer Aniston in ‘Mother’s Day’

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Jennifer Aniston once teamed up with Oscar-winner Julia Roberts for the 2016 feature Mother’s Day. Although the two were well acquainted with each other, Roberts quipped that she was glad she didn’t share screen time with her co-star.

Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston were both nervous about working with each other

Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston hugging each other at TNT's 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts | Christopher Polk/WireImage

Aniston and Roberts both had trouble getting over the idea of working together for Mother’s Day. The two actors weren’t strangers, and they’d even worked together before on a prior project. But Aniston asserted that being cast in the same feature film as Roberts still came with a certain level of anxiety. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Aniston shared why she felt intimidated by her Mother’s Day co-star.

“Because it’s Julia Roberts! Oh my gosh,” Aniston said.

According to Aniston, she even made a few mistakes while performing because of Roberts’ presence.

“It’s just a different thing when you get to work with them and then you’re doing what you both do, [but] together,” Aniston said. “I even flubbed in the first take and called her Julia!”

Likewise, the Pretty Woman star also revealed she was a little starstruck by Aniston. Even though they were both in the same film, the anthology nature of the feature meant they didn’t have to share screen time together. Which Roberts quipped she was thankful for.

“[Jennifer Aniston is] so hot. I’m glad I don’t have any scenes with her in Mother’s Day,” Roberts once told Allure (via Daily Mail). “She’s too gorgeous. Look at us [at the SAG Awards] holding hands like little lovebirds. She’s a lovely girl.”

Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston already worked together on ‘Friends’

Mother’s Day wasn’t the only project that Aniston and Roberts teamed up for. Fans of the show recognized Roberts as Susie Moss, who ended up dating Matthew Perry’s character Chandler Bing. It was revealed that Perry played a big part in recruiting Roberts to the show. According to Friends co-creator Kevin Bright, Roberts did the show after telling Perry to write her an essay.

“Matthew asked her to be on the show. She wrote back to him, ‘Write me a paper on quantum physics and I’ll do it.’ My understanding is that Matthew went away and wrote a paper and faxed it to her the next day,” Bright said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

The show’s staff writer Alexa Junge also remembered there being real-life sparks between the actors behind the scenes.

“There was a lot of flirting over faxing. She was giving him these questionnaires like, ‘Why should I go out with you?’ And everyone in the writers room helped him explain to her why. He could do pretty well without us, but there was no question we were on Team Matthew and trying to make it happen for him,” Junge said.

Despite the several films she’d done before Friends, Roberts had an overwhelming amount of nerves shooting the sitcom.

“Julia Roberts was a joy,” director Michael Lembeck said. “She hadn’t been in front of a live audience since she did Agnes of Godonstage when she was 15. The first night, she held my hand so tightly before she went on that I thought she was going to break my knuckles. Her performance anxiety was extraordinary.”

How many projects have Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston done together?

So far, Roberts and the Horrible Bosses star only share credits on Friends and Mother’s Day. However, Deadline recently reported that the two might be working more directly with each other in an upcoming comedy. Not much is known of the movie at this time, but it’s speculated that the pair will end up swapping bodies in the film.

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