Jennifer Aniston: 5 things you never knew

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Jennifer Aniston has had a very good month, even by Jennifer Aniston standards. The 47-year-old actress has cemented her status as a kind of living-well guru, and last week, People named her the World's Most Beautiful Woman for a second time. Before her heady dramatic turn in The Yellow Birds later this year, Aniston is returning to her light-hearted roots this weekend with a role in Garry Marshall's star-laden rom-com Mother's Day. In light of her standout month, here, five things you may not know about Jennifer Aniston.

1. In what has to be one of the most ironic fun facts, the Friends star was actually discouraged from watching television as a child. "I was going to a Waldorf school, which didn't allow you to watch television, but I could go to the theater," Aniston once said. "My dad was on a soap opera, and is still on a soap opera. So, I wasn't really allowed to watch television, unless I was home sick." Her father, who has starred on Days of Our Lives since 1985, also discouraged his daughter from following in his footsteps. "He said, 'I do not want your heart broken. The rejection is brutal. Please, please, please don't do that. Become a lawyer.'"

2. Aniston's first brush with fame was on The Howard Stern Show in 1989. At the time, Aniston was 20 years old and just getting her start, with one show at the Public Theater under her belt. She appeared as a spokesperson for the weight-loss plan Nutrisystem, and claimed to have lost 15 pounds on the program.

3. While promoting her 2014 film Cake, Aniston revealed that shooting the pool scene required 30 takes, due to her crippling fear of water. "I was a kid and I was riding this tricycle around a swimming pool and I drove my tricycle into the swimming pool and I didn't let go and my brother tried to [help]," Aniston has said. "So I can't go underwater and no one will believe me. I honestly can't."

4. It's hard to imagine Aniston as anything else but Rachel Green, but the actress almost appeared on an entirely different NBC show: Saturday Night Live. Adam Sandler recalled some mid-'90s casting drama on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2011: "I remember being on the ninth floor where Lorne Michaels's office was and seeing Jen come in. I was like, 'Oh my God, there's Aniston. Is she about to be on our show?'" When he found out that Aniston had turned it down for another project, Sandler was dumbfounded. "[I remember thinking], 'She said no?' She's going to do that Friends? What the hell is Friends? That was the truth."

5. In what could easily be the premise of a Friends episode, producers wanted Courteney Cox to play Rachel and Aniston to play Monica. Cocreators David Crane and Marta Kauffman had a very specific idea of how they imagined the fastidious younger Geller. "[Cox] had this cheery, upbeat energy. We thought, Well, that's not how we envisioned Monica," Kauffman once said. "And then she came in and did it, and we went, 'Huh!'" Aniston also reportedly had her eye on Rachel from the start. "Unbeknownst to each other, I wanted to play Rachel and she wanted to play Monica," Aniston has said. "So it worked out perfectly."

See photos of Jennifer Aniston through the years:

31 PHOTOS
Jennifer Aniston through the years
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Jennifer Aniston: 5 things you never knew
FERRIS BUELLER -- Pictured: Jennifer Aniston as Jeannie Bueller -- Photo by: Alice S. Hall/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
1990 file photo of Jennifer Aniston at a NBC pool party in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
FRIENDS -- Pictured: Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green -- (Photo by Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
FRIENDS -- Season 1 -- Pictured: (back l-r) Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing (front l-r) Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green -- (Photo by Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
FRIENDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay in 'Friends', circa 1995. (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
255721 02: Jennifer Aniston poses January 4, 1996 in Aspen, CO. Along with her role as Rachel on the television show 'Friends,' actress Aniston starred in the films 'Picture Perfect' and 'She's The One.' (Photo by Russell Turiak/Liaison)
1997 Jennifer Aniston Stars In The Movie 'Til There Was You'. (Photo By Getty Images)
FRIENDS -- Season 4 -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay (Photo by Gerald Weinman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 03: Jennifer Aniston arrives for premiere of movie 'Meet Joe Black' at the Ziegfeld Theater. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
372882 01: Jennifer Aniston stars in 'Friends,' 1999-2000 season. Photo by: Warner Bros. NBC
Co-hosts Courteney Cox Arquette, Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston at 'The 10th Annual Fire & Ice Ball', a gala event, hosted by Lilly Tartikoff and Ronald O. Perelman, to raise funds for Revlon/UCLA women's cancer research program. 12/11/00 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, Ca. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
PASADENA, : Actress Jennifer Aniston of the television show 'Friends' accepts her People's Choice Award for 'Favorite Female Television Performer' during the 27th Annual People's Choice Awards 07 January 2001 in Pasadena CA. AFP Photo Lucy NICHOLSON/ (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Jennifer Aniston on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Ca. 9/5/01. Los Angeles. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
Jennifer Aniston during The 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Press Room at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Jennifer Aniston (Photo by J. Merritt/FilmMagic)
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt during 'Along Came Polly' Los Angeles Premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Jennifer Aniston during 9th Annual Hollywood Film Festival Awards Gala Ceremony - Show at Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by J.Sciulli/WireImage)
Jennifer Aniston, presenter (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 09: Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the premiere screening of the FX Network's 'Dirt' at the Paramount Theater on December 9, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 17: Jennifer Aniston visits the ''Late Show with David Letterman'' at the Ed Sullivan Theater on December 17, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - NOVEMBER 26: Actress Jennifer Aniston attends the Gala evening to celebrate the re-opening of Hotel La Mamounia on November 26, 2009 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by Fizcairn/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MARCH 16: Jennifer Aniston attends the premiere of 'The Bounty Hunter' at Ziegfeld Theatre on March 16, 2010 in New York, New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 876 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jennifer Aniston with host Jimmy Fallon during an interview on August 1, 2013 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Jennifer Aniston attends 'El Hormiguero' Tv showon February 22, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images)
Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the 'Horrible Bosses' Los Angeles premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on June 30, 2011 in Hollywood, California.
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 17: Jennifer Aniston arrives as ELLE Honors Hollywood+s Most Esteemed Women in the 18th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute; at The Four Seasons Beverly Hills on October 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston attend the American Cinematheque 26th annual award presentation at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 14: Actress/producer Jennifer Aniston arrives at the 'Life Of Crime' Premiere during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 14, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Actress Jennifer Aniston speaks onstage during a Q&A following the screening of 'Cake' during the 2014 Variety Screening Series at ArcLight Hollywood on November 21, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 19: Jennifer Aniston arrives at the Premiere Of Lionsgate Premiere's 'She's Funny That Way' at Harmony Gold on August 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
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