You gotta admire the chutzpah.
Because in 2005, when Jennifer Aniston was navigating what may have been the most widely dissected split of all time, the hysteria surrounding her divorce from Brad Pitt perhaps only rivaled by Princess Diana and Prince Charles' split, Vince Vaughn sent over a script for a film he'd been working on called The Break-Up.
When developing the screenplay for the dramedy about a couple navigating the end of their relationship and subsequent custody battle over their prized Chicago condo, "she was the only actor that I had in mind," Vaughn explained to reporters ahead of the movie's June 2, 2006, release, "because she's so good with comedy and she's also a very good actor and she has a quality to her that just, inherently she's very likable, there's a warmth to Jennifer. These characters are both very flawed, so it's important to have that."
Which, sure, Aniston had just spent a decade showing people what a great friend she was. And public affection for her had certainly never been higher. But, also, The Break-Up?!?
"When it came along, you can't help but think, 'Really, The Break-Up? Is that actually going to happen?'" Aniston admitted. "And then I read it and I just went, well this is something I would be so interested to do because it's not just a trite sort of romantic comedy about a breakup."
Grossing $205 million, the true-to-life anti-rom-com, devoid of the expected, trite ending, netted Aniston a People's Choice Award, a new romance with Vaughn and the chance to heal her bruised heart, the actress later revealing on Inside the Actors Studio that the experience helped her "turn the page" on her marriage to Pitt.
In a sit-down with Elle just after filming wrapped in 2005, she raved, "This movie was fate. To be able to walk through a movie called The Break-Up, about a person going through a breakup, while I'm actually going through a breakup?! How did that happen?! It's been cathartic."
Ultimately, the shoot "turned something into a fantastic experience," she continued. "Not that divorce is fantastic, but I've never had more fun in a creative process."
That was a hard same from the crew as well.
Between Vaughn filling the call sheet with his closest friends and the months-long Chicago shoot lending a summer camp-like feel to the whole project, "There was a lot of camaraderie," production designer Andrew Laws told E! News.
In fact, he admitted, of the more than two dozen credits on his resume, few are quite as close to his heart. "It was an enjoyable work experience," Laws shared, revealing he and director Peyton Reed remain "really good friends." Plus, he spent stretches of his down time in the Windy City romancing the woman who would become his wife: "All the pieces of the puzzle on that one came together really well." (Not to mention watching Vaughn and buddy Jon Favreau improv for hours isn't a bad day's work.)
So to celebrate the flick's 15th anniversary, Laws and cinematographer Eric Edwards spoke to E! News about how everything clicked into place.