Image Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty ImageChatting with Oprah Winfrey yesterday to promote their new comedy Just Go With It, Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler revealed that she was offered a chance to join Saturday Night Live‘s cast before she shot the Friends pilot, but she turned it down because she was, actually, ready for prime-time. “I remember being on the ninth floor where Lorne Michaels’ office was, and seeing Jen come in,” Sandler said. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God. There’s Aniston. Is she about to be on our show?'” No, she was about to gracefully decline. “It was a boys’ club,” Aniston said. “They thought I was making a huge mistake.”
I assume we all agree, in hindsight, this was one of the wisest decisions an actor has ever made. Financially, Aniston never has to work again. When Friends concluded its 10-year run, she was pulling down $1 million per episode. Whether or not her movies have hit, she’s had the opportunity to be a leading lady multiple times over — which is something that’s eluded most every female SNL alum not named Tina Fey. You could argue she might not be as typecast if she’d been playing different characters every Saturday night, but even sketch goddesses Fey and Amy Poehler struggle with similar perception issues.
What are other great decisions that actors have made? Go!