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12 Roles You Completely Forgot Performed by Jennifer Aniston

 

It’s disturbing that it’s been almost 30 years since Jennifer Aniston first rose to fame as a cast member on Friends.

And while Rachel Green will likely always be her most famous role, Jen has also made a slew of big screen appearances in comedies like The Break-Up, Along Came Polly and Marley & Me — not to mention her acclaimed role, more recently, in the drama The Morning Show.

But there are also a number of credits on her expansive resume that you may not have heard of, including roles in which she was stalked by a vengeful goblin, touched lips with co-star Courteney Cox, and even attempted some order to restore in South Park.

Here are 12 of Jennifer Aniston’s previous roles you may have missed…

Mac and I (1988)

To start things on a bizarre note, Jen’s first-ever on-screen credit was in the critically-panned Alien movie Mac And Me, when he appeared as an extra (including a cameo appearance) in a really wild dance sequence inside a McDonald’s by Ronald McDonald himself).

See if you can recognize the then 18-year-old future Emmy winner in the video above.

Ferris Bueller (1990)

Four years after the 1980s teen comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off enchanted audiences, a short-lived TV spin-off debuted in the US.

Jennifer played the titular character’s teenage sister, Jeanie, on the show, a role adapted from Jennifer Grey, who later found huge success in the film Dirty Dancing.

Leprechaun (1993)

Leprechaun isn’t a movie Jennifer Aniston likes to holler about being a part of — in fact, in 2021, she admitted her fears it might have been a career-killer for her.

Granted, it’s not hard to see why.

Part B-movie comedy spoof, part true horror film, Leprechaun sees Warwick Davis play the title role of a… well… a leprechaun bent on getting revenge on a young couple he thinks stole their gold.

Following Jen’s rise to fame in Friends, Leprechaun gained something of a cult following, though she definitely doesn’t count herself among her fans.

South Park (1999)

Jen was apparently an early fan of the adult animated series after being brought to her attention by her then-husband Brad Pitt.

With Friends still on the air and hugely popular, her speaking role on South Park was a bit of a risky move, given that her episode features the explicit language and badass (and often offensive) humor the long-running series has always been associated with.

The Good Girl (2002)

Let’s face it, we all love Jen a little bit, but her performances on the big screen haven’t always been the most warmly received, have they?

A major exception is the indie film The Good Girl, in which the star plays a bored supermarket worker whose boring life is thrown into disarray when she strikes up a romance with a much younger new colleague, played by Jake Gyllenhaal.

Jennifer was critically acclaimed as a standout performance in the film, which was one of Jake’s first following his standout role in Donnie Darko a year earlier.

Derailed (2005)

For Jen’s first cinema appearance after the end of Friends in 2004, she definitely left her comfort zone. She joins Clive Owen in this crime thriller about two strangers who begin an affair after meeting on a train, though her character has more than a few secrets that are revealed throughout the action-packed drama.

Unfortunately, the film was mistreated by critics upon its release and currently holds an unenviable “rotten” score on the Rotten Tomatoes review site.

Friends With Money (2006)

Jen stars in this black comedy alongside an impressive cast, playing the least wealthy member of an otherwise wealthy group of friends.

It’s odd that this is such an overlooked addition to Jen’s filmography as not only has her performance been acclaimed, she appears in the film alongside Academy Award winner Frances McDormand and Academy Award nominees Joan Cusack and Catherine Keener.

Dirt (2007)

The cast of Friends appeared repeatedly in each other’s later projects, with the Courteney Cox-directed drama Dirt being one such example.

Much was made in the media about Jen’s cameo in the Season 1 finale, not only because she was reunited with her former co-star, but also because the two kissed in a scene that revealed her magazine journalists were former Characters were lovers.

Cougar City (2010)

See what we mean about the Friends cast?

A few years after her scene-stealing moment in Dirt, Jen shared the screen again with Courteney in her suburban sitcom Cougar Town (btw: if you’ve never seen Cougar Town, we can’t recommend it highly enough).

Jennifer played Courteney’s neurotic character’s therapist in one episode, stepping out of her usual box in a role that reminded us more of Phoebe Buffay than Rachel Green.

Cake (2014)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3IsUOSHLnU

Jennifer Aniston came closest to winning an Oscar in 2014 with the release of Cake, in which the star plays a former attorney struggling with chronic pain after a car accident that killed her son.

Jen was nominated for a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award for her role, although she ultimately eluded an Oscar nomination.

The Yellow Birds (2018)

How exactly this film passed us by in 2018, we do not know exactly. The Yellow Birds focuses on two soldiers fighting in the Iraq War, with Jennifer and screen icon Toni Collette playing their mothers.

She told Entertainment Weekly about the release: “War movies aren’t usually my thing; I find them very difficult to watch. [But] the way that script was read and the vision that Alex had – it was really connecting to the humanity of the soldiers; the waiting parents counting the minutes; the loss of innocence.”

Dumplings (2018)

Released around the same time as the ubiquitous Sandra Bullock thriller Bird Box and guaranteed Oscar-nominated Roma, Dumplin’ didn’t quite get the attention it deserved when it debuted in December 2018, which is a shame because it’s a really happy movie.

Mixing together everything you want in a movie (an underdog story, drag queens and the music of Dolly Parton), Jen plays a former beauty queen-turned-pageant-runner struggling to understand her teenage daughter.
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