Jennifer Aniston was told to lose weight if she 'wanted to stay in Hollywood' before landing 'Friends' role

Amy West
Jennifer Aniston was 'told to lose 30lbs to stay in Hollywood' in the 1990s (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Jennifer Aniston is one of the most famous names in film and television but before she landed her career-making role in Friends back in the early 1990s, she was told she’d have to lose weight if she wanted to make it in the industry.

In new book Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era, which coincides with the iconic sitcom’s 25th anniversary, author Saul Austerlitz documented the hardships that the Horrible Bosses star encountered when she first moved to the City of Angels to pursue acting.

"She had to lose thirty pounds if she wanted to stay in Hollywood,” he wrote, explaining how a number of executives told her she was “too fat.”

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"Los Angeles was a tough place to be an actress - it was a tough place to be a woman - and Jennifer Aniston’s agent was reluctantly levelling with her.”

"[She] was hardly fat - everyone could see she was beautiful - but as the show she would one day become indelibly associated with later made a point of noting, the camera added ten pounds.”

(l-r) 'Friends' stars David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing -- (Photo by Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Aniston made reference to the criticisms she faced from industry professional early on in a 1996 interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

Two years after first playing Central Perk regular Rachel Green, she recalled to the publication: "My agent gave it to me straight. Nicest thing he ever did... The disgusting thing of Hollywood - I wasn’t getting lots of jobs ’cause I was too heavy.

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"I was like, ‘What?!’ But my diet was terrible. Milk shakes and French fries with gravy. It was a good thing to start paying attention."

The Just Go With It actor went on to admit that in her 20s, she’d often have a hankering for “the most delicious thing in the world” - mayonnaise sandwiches.

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