Serendipity filmmaker reveals Jennifer Aniston turned down lead role

The film’s director has reflected on the original casting

Elizabeth Aubrey
Friday 01 October 2021 21:46
Jennifer Aniston premiere

Director Peter Chelsom has revealed that Jennifer Aniston was one of his first choices for the main roles in his film Serendipity.

Chelsom revealed that he asked Anniston to come and meet him and his team about the role of Sara Thomas, a role that was eventually taken by Kate Beckinsale.

However, the actor turned down the role due to her ongoing commitments on Friends at the time.

Chelsom told Insider: “I distinctly remember Jennifer Aniston coming in to meet us.”

He continued: “I remember when she came in, she said, “I do a romantic comedy once a week,” her being on Friends at the time, so she clearly had other things on her plate and it was her decision not to do it.

“She had come to meet with me in good faith without an offer, but we definitely would have made her an offer if she wanted to make it.”

He also revealed that Spy Kids actor Carla Gugino was another actor who came “extremely close” to landing the part.

He added: “I ended up casting her in my movie years later, The Space Between Us.”

Serendipity Trailer

Recently, Aniston said that the Friends cast experienced “hard truths, loss and miscarriages” in the wake of the show.

Aniston’s star-making sitcom hit came to a close in 2004 after 10 seasons, and the cast reunited earlier this year for a 90-minute special in which they reminisced about the series.

In a new interview, Aniston revealed that the reunion special was “a sucker punch to the heart”, and that it made her aware that the cast experienced enormous personal upheaval once the show ended.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in