Having brought in over $904 million domestically with her big screen roles, we weren’t exaggerating when we said Jennifer Aniston was someone people enjoy watching fall in love over and over again. Her new movie “Love Happens” hits theaters today and decided to take a look back at how Jennifer Aniston evolved into being Forbes’s eighth most powerful celebrity this year (ahead of ex-husband Brad Pitt but trailing behind his new lady, Angelina) and thesecond highest paid actress in the business.
Click on the photo below to see how Jennifer has grown from the 90s to today. Then, keep reading for more on her rise to fame after the jump.
Jen, now 40, wasn’t always starring across from sexy men like Aaron Eckhart, who is her love interest in “Love Happens.” In her first major film role at age 24 back in 1993, her costar wasn’t much of a man at all. Instead, he was a deranged leprechaun trying to kill her in the appropriately titled, “Leprechaun,” a cult hit but critically disdained comedy horror film. After several unsuccessful stints on TV with “Ferris Bueller,” “Molloy” and “Muddling Through,” Jen said in interviews she was ready to give up on acting. Fortunately for nineties pop culture, she didn’t.
In 1994, she auditioned for the role of Monica Geller on the new NBC show, “Friends.” The role was given to Courtney Cox, but Jen was given the character of Rachel Green. The show ended up running for 10 successful years, with Jen earning $1 million an episode for the show’s last two seasons. She won an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her portrayal as Rachel, as well as spawning the popular nineties hairstyle, “The Rachel.”
It was during her time on “Friends” that she was set up on a blind date with actor Brad Pitt (check out his Evolution here!). The two dated for two and a half years before getting married in 2000. Together, the reigned as Hollywood’s power couple until they split in 2005. To this day, tabloids are still finding inventive ways of linking the two of them romantically.
With the success of “Friends,” Jen moved on to be a successful film star as well, generally staying within the boundaries of comedies and romantic comedies. Her highest grossing film to date is 2003’s “Bruce Almighty,” but some of her other more popular hits include “The Break-Up,” “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “Marley and Me” – which broke the record for highest Christmas Day opening for a film.
In 2006, inspired by actress Gwenyth Paltrow, Jen made her directorial debut with the short film, “Room 10.” It is the only film she has directed to date.
Having since shed both “Friends” and Brad, Jen continues to be one of the most powerful names in the entertainment industry. In 2007, Forbes named her the top-selling celebrity face of the entertainment industry, and judging by bookstore magazine aisles, things haven’t changed much. She is consistently ranked in the Hollywood’s hottest charts, and in 2009 earned her first Emmy nomination since “Friends” for her guest appearance on “30 Rock.” With 10 movies set for the next few years, we are sure Jen’s star is going to continue to burn bright.