Skip to main content

Jennifer Aniston is quite arguably one of the most famous actors in the world. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t recognize her name. And she has played some of the most memorable roles in recent movie and television history. However, when the casting was in progress for one of Aniston’s early films, Office Space, the team was actually looking for the best actors for each role — regardless of how well-known they were.

This soon changed, and Fox Studios decided they needed some big names for the movie. The team approached Aniston, who was at the height of Friends fame at the time, to play the character Joanna. But there was some concern about having such a big name for a small role. Even so, the star didn’t exactly see herself as being “too famous” for the 1999 film. 

Ron Livingston was considered not famous enough to lead ‘Office Space’

According to director Mike Judge (via Entertainment Weekly), “There wasn’t pressure at first to cast big names” in Office Space. “[Fox] said “Just get the best actors. It’s a low-budget movie.'” But they changed their tune pretty quickly, looking at the likes of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon for Peter, recently popular due to their Oscar-winning flick Good Will Hunting.

So when it came to Rob Livingston, the studio wasn’t quite as excited. According to casting director Nancy Klopper, “He’d been in Swingers and a few TV comedies, but wasn’t well-known.” But as the actor himself shared, “I did a damn good audition.” After he was cast, the search was on to find an actor for the role of Joanna, a “waitress who wasn’t a big fan of ‘flair.'”

Jennifer Aniston didn’t think she was ‘too famous’ for ‘The Office’

The casting team knew that while they didn’t have the most famous actor for the role of Peter, he was certainly perfect for the part. It was then that Fox Studios told Klopper that “If you don’t have a big name for Peter, you have to have one for Joanna.” So Friends star Aniston was approached, and she absolutely loved the script.

However, it wasn’t a done deal right then and there. There was some concern about having one of the most famous actors in the world cast in a relatively small part. But Aniston herself had quite a different opinion. At the time, most people thought of her for TV, not movies.

Looking back, she said, “I don’t think I was the biggest anything at the time. I was excited about doing a comedy like Office Space; features like that weren’t flying my way at that point.” She thought that the role was “relatable.”

Jennifer Aniston’s career continued to blow up

jennifer aniston office space
Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the Open Roads World Premiere Of “Mother’s Day” at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on April 13, 2016 in Hollywood, California. | Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Jennifer Aniston Didn’t Like the Label Others Pinned on Her After She Turned 40

To say that Aniston’s acting career has been on fire for years would be an understatement. After finding fame as Rachel Green in Friends, the pretty actor became a household name. And after Office Space, she went on to star in numerous films. Her popular roles from the time include Bruce Almighty, Marley and Me, and Along Came Polly.

Aniston remained a mainstay on the big screen for many years, from comedies like Horrible Bosses to her dramatic turn in Cake. After years away, the actor once again returned to the small screen in The Morning Show, alongside Reese Witherspoon.