Jennifer Aniston is not just one of the most decorated actors of her generation, she is also one of the biggest stars alive anywhere in the world. This status was perfectly demonstrated when she made a business decision to join Instagram in 2019, having previously generally steered clear of social media.
Another example that proves her footing as one of the OGs is the sheer longevity of her career at the very top. 37-year-old Kaley Cuoco has joined the pantheon of the great screen performers of modern times, yet she was still a child actor when she worked with Aniston in the 1997 film Picture Perfect.
When speaking about the experience on her Instagram page decades later, Cuoco admitted that she had been entirely star-struck throughout the filming period. "All I remember is spending the entire day convincing myself to tell Jen how much I loved her. (Friends was my life at that point)," the Big Bang Theory star wrote. "She was a gem to me then and a gem to me now (and to everyone she knows)."
Granted, not everyone has fond memories of working with Aniston. Jay Mohr, another who featured in Picture Perfect, described his time working with Aniston as "traumatizing." But on which of these two sides does Juliette Lewis — Jen's co-star from The Switch — fall?
The Switch is a romantic comedy film which was released in 2010, with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman in the two main starring roles. The movie follows the life of Kassie Larson, a single woman in her late 30s who decides to have a baby through artificial insemination. Aniston played the role of Kassie.
Her best friend Wally (Jason Bateman) has been in love with her for years but never had the courage to confess his feelings. He is skeptical of Kassie's decision, and tries to convince her not to go through with it. However, she is determined to have a child and proceeds with the insemination.
On the night of Kassie's insemination party, Wally gets drunk and accidentally spills the donor's sperm down the drain. In a panic, he replaces it with his own sperm, and Kassie is none the wiser. The insemination is successful, and she moves away to raise her child, Sebastian, on her own. Seven years later, the pair return to New York, and Wally discovers that he is the biological father of the boy.
In The Switch, Lewis plays Debbie, Kassie's (other) best friend and confidante. She is depicted as having a quirky sense of humor and a zest for life. She is also fiercely loyal to Kassie and supports her decision to have a child through artificial insemination, despite Wally's skepticism.
Throughout the film, Debbie provides comic relief and a breath of fresh air with her offbeat personality and unconventional style. She has a positive outlook on life and encourages Kassie to take risks and pursue her dreams. Lewis' performance brings a unique energy to the film and adds an extra layer of charm to the already endearing characters.
In an old interview, Lewis revealed that Debbie was only meant to appear in one scene, but the directors loved her so much that they allowed the actress to improvise more bits throughout the film. She also spoke of the interesting dynamics between her character and Jason Bateman's Wally.
"Debbie and Wally's character is very troubled," Lewis explained. "I think they're competitive of Kassie's best friendship…. He's always in a bad mood and [Debbie] likes to give off love and light. And so [the two] as sparring partners are very interesting because they both spar in different ways."
Juliette Lewis and Jennifer Aniston are very good friends in real life, and the Cape Fear actress was over the moon to have the opportunity to recreate those dynamics on screen.
"Playing Jennifer's best friend was the easiest thing in the world. She's inviting, and as lovely as you'd think or expect," Lewis said in a separate interview, according to the Los Angeles Times. She also added that the experience had been a dream come true, saying: "I wanted to work with Jennifer because she's a great soul."
While it is understandable that Lewis would have been excited to work with one of the very best in the business, her sentiments might have to do more with the person that Aniston is than any of her achievements as an actress. After all, Lewis is quite accomplished in the field herself.
In the last few years, she has become synonymous with her character Natalie from Yellowjackets. Before that, however, she had garnered Oscar, Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her performances in Cape Fear and Hysterical Blindness among other works.