David Schwimmer had "a major crush" on his Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston, who confirmed the feeling was "reciprocated" during the show's early days.
Fans followed Ross and Rachel's on-off relationship for a decade, with the show's finale dedicated to their 'will they, won't they' reunion. And in the long-awaited Friends: The Reunion show, broadcast on HBO Max on Thursday, stars Aniston and Schwimmer, appearing alongside co-stars Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc, revealed the chemistry onscreen was real during the show's early episodes.
Speaking to host James Corden, the two actors admitted they both had feelings for each other before their characters got together.
"At some point we were both crushing hard on each other, but it was like two ships passing because one of us was always in a relationship," Schwimmer continued. "And we never crossed that boundary. You know, we respected that, but we both..."
While they were insisting the crush never went any further, Schwimmer was interrupted by LeBlanc who blurted out "bulls**t", raising a laugh from the studio audience.
Aniston then claimed their first kiss happened at the same time as Ross and Rachel's did - in coffee shop Central Perk in season two.
"Honestly," she insisted, reports Sky News. "And I remember saying one time to David, 'It's going to be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is going to be on national television'. Sure enough, the first time we kissed was in that coffee shop. But we just channelled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel."
"It was a situation that... we couldn't do anything about it," Schwimmer added, to which Cox replied: "How great though ultimately because if you had and it didn't work out..."
Following their revelation, Schwimmer and Aniston did a table read of their first kiss scene, which was edited to include footage from the original episode.