Jennifer Aniston's real-life friends: From Sandra Bullock to her childhood BFF

If you could build your own dream team of Hollywood besties, Jennifer Aniston would surely be top on the list.

The 51-year-old actress first won over the world's collective heart in 1994, starring as the kind-of-spoiled but entirely good-hearted Rachel Green on Friends. In the nearly three decades since, she's continued to infuse a humor and charm into her onscreen characters that makes her seem relatable off the screen as well.

But who actually gets to call Aniston a friend in real-life? From an ex-husband to a childhood bestie, here's a closer look into the who's who of Aniston's friend group.

Courteney Cox

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Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox played on-screen BFFs for 10 years as Rachel Green and Monica Geller. And in real-life, it's not all that different.

In addition to never missing each other's birthday celebrations and dinner parties, the two have been a part of each other's most monumental moments in life.

In 2004, Cox named Aniston the godmother to her daughter, Coco, with then-husband, David Arquette. And in 2015, Aniston asked Cox to be her maid of honor when she married Justin Theroux (Cox was also in attendance at Aniston's 2000 wedding ceremony to Brad Pitt).

Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox in 1999 / Getty Images

"There's absolutely no judgment in Court. You'll never feel scolded. She's extremely fair, ridiculously loyal and fiercely loving," Aniston told More magazine in 2014.

"I've slept in her guest bedroom a lot," she added of their friendship. "Without giving away too much of my private stuff, all I can say is she's been there for me through thick and thin."

The rest of the Friends cast

The Friends cast in the 90s / Getty Images

Over the years, the cast has all kept in touch, with Aniston sharing that they still manage group get-togethers despite conflicting work schedules and living far away from one another. "It happens once every two years," said Aniston of their reunions in a 2019 appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. "But the girls, all the time," she noted of her more frequent dinners with Cox and Kudrow.

When Aniston joined Instagram in 2019, she nearly broke the social media platform with her first post - a selfie with her former Friends castmates. (She actually did set the record for the fastest time to reach one million followers on Instagram, as recognized by the Guinness World Records, FYI.)

And in February 2020, it was announced that the long-awaited Friends reunion fans had been pushing for was finally in the works.

Sandra Bullock

Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock in 2020 / Getty Images

Aniston and Bullock go back almost as far as the Friends cast. In Aniston's cover story for Interview magazine's March 2020 issue, Bullock played interviewer, where it was revealed the two met through a mutual ex-boyfriend, Tate Donovan.

After meeting again at a mutual friend's wedding, the two quickly struck up a friendship of their own, with Bullock frequently attending Aniston's dinner parties.

"I look at you at your dinner table, because you sit at the same place all the time, and you are surrounded by these extraordinary people that you've known for so long," Bullock said of Aniston during the interview.

via Instagram (@jenniferaniston)

"I just get to sit back and go, 'I'm so lucky to sit here with my family and be a part of this world,'" she continued. "You share your wealth, the wealth of your friendships. You literally go, 'Here are my friends, they're going to love you, too. Here's my family, they're going to love you, too. Here's my home, stay as long as you want.' That's a rare thing. A lot of people don't have that."

More recently, Aniston helped Bullock celebrate her 56th birthday - pandemic style. "Celebrating our girl properly distanced with so much love," Aniston wrote alongside a photo of a small group of friends wearing their masks. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY SANDY WE LOVE YOU," she added to her Instagram story post.

Justin Theroux

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux in 2016 / Getty Images

Yes, it is possible to be friends with your ex, as evidenced by Aniston and Theroux. The two began dating in 2011 and became engaged a year later. In 2015, they married in a small ceremony held in their backyard (with many of the friends on this list in attendance), but by 2017, Aniston and Theroux had announced their separation.

However, their friendship is still going strong. Theroux posted on his Instagram story from Aniston's Friendsgiving in 2019, and he never misses wishing her a happy birthday on social media either. Theroux could even be seen congratulating Aniston on her recent Emmy nomination for her role in The Morning Show after she posted her excitement to Instagram.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston in 2011 / Getty Images

They may currently be co-starring in The Morning Show together (they also both serve as executive producers on the show), but Aniston and Witherspoon have actually known each other since Aniston's Friends days.

In 2000, Witherspoon made one of the greatest cameos of the series as Rachel Green's younger sister, Jill (she and Aniston even reenacted their favorite scene in an interview in 2019).

"She was so sweet to me," Witherspoon recalled of first meeting Aniston in an interview with Harper's Bazaar.

"I was really nervous, and she was like, 'Oh, my gosh - don't worry about it!' I marveled at her ability to perform in front of a live audience like that with no nerves," she said, adding, "They would change all the lines and she was just so effortlessly affable, bubbly and sunny. We've been friends ever since."

Rita Wilson

It's unclear when actress Rita Wilson and Aniston became friends, but she's part of Aniston's regular dinner crew. In fact, Wilson and her husband, Tom Hanks, would even go on double dates with Aniston and Theroux when they were a couple.

Additionally, Wilson and Aniston both share Greek roots. Aniston's father was born in Greece and Wilson's parents are both of Greek descent - she and Hanks were recently given Greek citizenship by the country's prime minister.

Laura Dern

Jennifer Aniston and Laura Dern in 2018 / Getty Images

Dern has often been spotted at birthday parties and holiday celebrations with Aniston over the years. Unsurprisingly, Dern and Cox are also best friends. On Christmas Eve, Dern posted a photo with her children and Cox and her daughter, sharing that celebrating together was a 14-year tradition.

And if you're keeping track, Dern is also friends with Aniston's ex, Brad Pitt, and she recently starred alongside Reese Witherspoon in the television series, Big Little Lies - so yes, everyone in Hollywood really does know each other.

Dern and Aniston share another strange connection. Dern was engaged to actor Billy Bob Thornton, who suddenly left her in 2000 to marry Angelina Jolie while Dern was away for work. Jolie also famously married Aniston's ex, Pitt, though the two have since separated.

Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel and Jennifer Aniston in 2013 / Getty Images

Jimmy Kimmel and Aniston are such good friends that he officiated her 2015 wedding to Justin Theroux.

The late-night talk show host is also a frequent guest at Aniston's Thanksgiving and Christmas parties - despite his pretty bold Friendsgiving request. In 2018, Kimmel teased Aniston about her annual Thanksgiving friends dinner when she appeared on his show.

"On Thanksgiving, I cook a lot of stuff - the normal turkey, yams, the whole deal - but at your event, we had all of those things," Kimmel said, noting that Aniston's dinner takes place the day before the holiday. "So then I'm making the same thing everyone had the night before, again," griped Kimmel, whose wife, Molly, and children are also regular guests at Aniston's home.

"Maybe on Friendsgiving, we could designate another special meal that we have that's not turkey," he suggested, adding that Italian or Mexican food would be nice.

Ever the gracious host, Aniston's 2019 Friendsgiving included "Jimmy's F**king Enchiladas," which she hilariously shared on Instagram.

Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler and Jennifer Aniston in 2011 / Getty Images

Comedian Chelsea Handler joined Aniston and Theroux on the couple's honeymoon in 2015 (actor Jason Bateman and BFF Cox also reportedly tagged along).

In 2017, Handler and Aniston reportedly had a falling out, but the two have since made up. Handler was a guest at Aniston's 50th birthday party in 2019, and she even welcomed Aniston to Instagram later that same year.

Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston in 2016 / Getty Images

Actor Jason Bateman and Aniston have appeared in five films together over the years, including Horrible Bosses. But they've also been close friends for many years. In an interview on Chelsea Handler's show in 2017, Aniston shared that she's known Bateman since they were 23-years-old.

Aniston even paid tribute to Bateman when he received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2017. "The part that I'm the luckiest that I get to witness is Jason Bateman the husband, the father, the fantastic friend and, as we lovingly call him, the grandfather," she said in her speech.

Chris McMillan

Chris McMillan and Jennifer Aniston in 2013 / Getty Images

How far back does their friendship go, you ask? McMillan was the man behind one of the world's most famous hairstyles, creating "The Rachel" for Aniston in the late '90s.

The look was not one of Aniston's favorites, as she told Allure in 2011. "I love Chris, and he's the bane of my existence at the same time because he started that damn Rachel, which was not my best look," she said, even admitting that she couldn't figure out how to style the cut herself.

But the two have remained close friends ever since. While McMillan attends all of Aniston's dinner parties, he's also her go-to man on set (he works with her on The Morning Show) and at photoshoots.

In 2018, Aniston presented McMillan with InStyle's Hairstylist Of The Year award. Reflecting on their then-nearly 25 years of friendship, she said, "You're one of the most passionate and kind human beings that I've had the good fortune of getting to know and I get to call you my family. I feel blessed every day for that."

Jennifer Meyer

Jennifer Meyer is one of Hollywood's go-to jewelry designers, and she counts many of her A-list clients like Aniston among her friends (Kate Hudson and Courteney Cox are also part of that list). Meyer even designed Aniston's and Theroux's wedding rings when they were married in 2015.

Andrea Bendewald

Actress Andrea Bendewald might just be Aniston's most enduring friendship, as the two have been friends since they were 14.

Bendewald was reportedly a bridesmaid at Aniston's first wedding to Brad Pitt in 2000, and Aniston served as maid of honor when her bestie got married a year later.

Though Bendewald is most well known for her role in the '90s sitcom, Suddenly Susan, she did make a cameo appearance in season 7 of Friends (as Monica's wedding dress nemesis). She and Aniston are sharing the screen again, as Bendewald has a recurring role on The Morning Show.

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