Happy birthday to Jennifer Aniston!
The “Friends” star turned Hollywood icon turned 50 on Feb. 11, 2019, despite looking more than a decade younger (must be all that SmartWater and Aveeno that she endorses). The reluctant tabloid fixture and relatable screen queen has had a lifetime’s worth of ups and downs in the public eye since the 1990s, but there are a lot of quirks hidden underneath Aniston’s shiny golden surface.
Here are 10 fun facts you didn’t know about the woman behind Rachel Green (and one of Hollywood’s most enduring love triangle narratives).
1. Before she was a star, she cleaned toilets.
We know Jennifer Aniston as a bronze beacon of glamour, but before she took the throne as Hollywood’s golden girl, she was polishing porcelain thrones for cash. “I made my allowance as a kid cleaning toilets,” Aniston told Parade in 2009. “I’m actually pretty good at it. I struggled for a while, but I was happy with my life whether I was making this amount of money, or that amount of money. I always enjoyed where I was working.”
2. She was a bad waitress.
Before Central Perk and “Horrible Bosses,” Jennifer Aniston was a horrible server at a restaurant.
“I dropped more than one Alpine burger in customers’ laps, and you just do not want all of that Swiss cheese and mushrooms in your pants,” she told Marie Claire in 2011. “I wasn’t a good waitress, but I was told that I was very nice and charming, so people liked me anyway.”
3. She’s into astrology.
Born Feb. 11, Jennifer Aniston has referenced being an Aquarius and citing it as reasons she has certain traits and habits. She told InStyle in 2017, “I love my me time, and I like being alone a lot, which I guess makes sense as an Aquarian.”
4. She had an … interesting high school experience.
Jennifer Aniston attended the prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts with Chaz Bono. There, Aniston says, she played volleyball and basketball when not acting or studying drama — and if you can believe it, the perma-tan star says she even went through a goth phase.
“You know, you’re experimenting,” she told People of her “tragic” high school years. “It was the ’80s and I looked like a goth nightmare. I wasn’t going for most beautiful. It was, ‘How can I be the most rebelliously unattractive?’”
5. She and her “Friends” co-stars Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow had the same lunch almost daily for a decade.
Courteney Cox revealed that she, Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow had a “Jennifer salad” every day together on the set of “Friends.” “We always had the same thing: a Cobb salad. But it wasn’t really a Cobb salad. It was a Cobb salad that Jennifer doctored up with turkey bacon and garbanzo beans and I don’t know what,” Cox told the Los Angeles Times.
6. She hated “The Rachel.”
Jennifer Aniston had one of the most iconic haircuts ever during her time on “Friends” as Rachel Green, but she detested the layered look.
“I was not a fan of the ‘Rachel.’ That was kind of cringe-y for me,” she admitted to Glamour. “Looking back — honestly, even during that time — I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed [my hairstylist] Chris [McMillan] attached to my hip. Left to my own devices, I am not skilled with a hairbrush and blow-dryer.”
For his part, McMillan, who still styles Aniston’s signature long blond mane today, admitted he was stoned when he first gave Aniston “The Rachel.”
7. She won the war of public opinion against Angelina Jolie.
At the height of the Jennifer Aniston-Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie love triangle, Vanity Fair reports, Los Angeles boutique Kitson outsold Team Aniston T-shirts to Team Jolie by a 25 to 1 margin.
8. She keeps up with the Kardashians — and “The Bachelor.”
“I sadly am very much interested in the Kardashian-Jenner thing. That’s a guilty pleasure for sure,” Jennifer Aniston confessed to People in 2015.
A year later, she told “Access Hollywood” that she’s obsessed with “The Bachelor,” explaining, “I’m not gonna lie. It’s junk food. It’s great junk food. It’s a train wreck! Have you seen them? You can’t feel bad for them. They’ve done that to themselves, just to entertain us.”
9. She’s scared of flying.
Despite her jet-setting lifestyle, Jennifer Aniston is scared to fly.
“It started in my 20s. It was a weird, scary flight,” she told InStyle. “Afterward I began noticing the stories on the news about plane crashes, and I became all-consumed with the idea of dying on an airplane. It was so out of control in my brain. So, yeah, that’s something I’d like to get rid of. It’s so irrational.”
10. She lived in a haunted house.
Flying isn’t Jennifer Aniston’s only fear. The actress revealed in December 2018 that she lived in a haunted house when she first moved to Los Angeles.
“I didn’t know it was [haunted] — all of a sudden … the dishwasher would start to go, or the coffeemaker would start to go, or the stereo would just turn on at full volume. It was terrifying,” she said. “I had just moved from New York City to California, and someone said to me, ‘You have a spirit in your house, you should have someone come clear the house.’” A spiritualist came and told Aniston that the ghost had a beef with her roommate.
“I moved out [instead of telling the roommate],” she admitted. “I feel terrible, but I couldn’t say, ‘It doesn’t like you!’ I would feel terrible … I got out of there too quick!”