In his new memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, the actor recalled his crush on the actress during the early '90s. And while their relationship remained platonic, it looks like Perry wasn't the only one to develop romantic feelings for a castmate as David Schwimmer and Aniston revealed during the Friends reunion special last year that they had crushes on one another early in the show's run (although, they also stayed just pals).
So how did Perry feel about Aniston and Schwimmer's crush confessional? "Oh, I knew. I knew," he said during the Nov. 3 episode of SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show. "I knew what was going on."
And while Perry noted his crush on Aniston eventually "dissipated," he admitted that this took some time.
"At first it was like, she would walk in, I'd be like, 'Hey, good to see you.' And then I'd go to my dressing room and just go, 'Oh, I'll never be able to be with her,'" he remembered. "But how can you not have a crush on Jennifer Aniston, you know? But I did at one point just go, 'All right, that's enough.'"
If you haven't heard the one about how Perry and Aniston met, he wrote in his book that they were introduced through mutual acquaintances about three years before working together on Friends.
"I was immediately taken by her (how could I not be?) and liked her," Perry shared in his memoir, "and I got the sense she was intrigued too—maybe it was going to be something."
But the Fools Rush In star noted that he may have been a little overzealous in his approach, explaining that after he booked two gigs in one day, he called Aniston and told her, "You're the first person I wanted to tell this to!" And things didn't go as he had hoped.
"Bad idea—I could feel ice forming through the phone," Perry continued. "Looking back, it was clear that this made her think I liked her too much, or in the wrong kind of way…and I only compounded the error by then asking her out. She declined (which made it very difficult to actually go out with her), but said that she'd love to be friends with me, and I compounded the compound by blurting, 'We can't be friends!'"
But they did become friends—both on and offscreen. "Fortunately, even though I was still attracted to her and thought she was so great," Perry added, "that first day we were able to sail right past the past and focus on the fact that we had both gotten the best job Hollywood had to offer."
Although, he again admitted his feelings didn't go away overnight. "Fairly early in the making of Friends I realized that I was still crushing badly on Jennifer Aniston," he wrote. "Our hellos and goodbyes became awkward. And then I'd ask myself, How long can I look at her? Is three seconds too long?"
But as Perry put it, "that shadow disappeared in the hot glow of the show. (That, and her deafening lack of interest.)."