She also put on Instagram a photo of her younger self alongside Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and her screen mum, captioning it, “The one where it all began,” taken during filming for the episode that marks Emma’s 1st birthday. In the photo, she’s standing up with help from Courteney, who played Emma’s Aunt Monica.
“Jennifer used to come home from filming and holding baby ‘Emma’ all day, feeling really broody, and she and Brad were talking about babies constantly,” reveals the insider, of the former couple’s secret that’s been buried for the past 15 years.
The character of Emma appeared at the end of the ninth season and throughout the 10th, and final, season of Friends, which wrapped up on TV in May 2004.
At the time, Jennifer confirmed in an interview with The Guardian that she and Brad were planning on starting a family as soon as possible, saying, “It’s time.” Just months later she told People magazine that she was “in the process” of preparing for pregnancy and was even taking folic acid.
That was the last we heard of the pair’s baby plans, though Jen and Brad were so fond of her on-screen daughter during their marriage that they are thought to have treated her as if she were their own – like their secret daughter. Even the girls’ real mum, Gretchen Carpenter, said the girls were “treated like little princesses on the set”.
“Emma was the one who made Brad and Jen start talking about having their own little girl and a family in general, so she will always hold a special place in their hearts because of it,” adds the source. But their hope for a family wasn’t to be: while Jennifer was preparing for pregnancy, Brad was filming Mr & Mrs Smith and falling in love with his co-star and future wife, Angelina Jolie.
After playing the role of Rachel and Ross Geller’s daughter on eight episodes, Cali and Noelle continued acting, most recently appearing alongside Elisabeth Moss and Lupita Nyong’o in Us.
Noelle celebrated the show’s anniversary by reposting an E! News montage of her alongside other now-grown-up former cast members, including Dakota Fanning, who appeared briefly in the show, and Ross’ son, Ben Geller, played by Cole Sprouse, now best known for his role as Jughead on Riverdale. “Happy 25th anniversary of Friends ft. this super weird but funny picture,” she wrote.
Most of the main cast of Friends – who each receive nearly $30 million a year from reruns – also posted tributes to the show, posting the same famous promo picture.
Courteney captioned it, “Celebrating a Thursday night 25 years ago. Thank you to all of our loyal fans across the world. You’ve certainly been there for us,” then tagging her fellow cast members who are on social media and jokily adding for the two who still don’t have an Instagram presence, “#seriouslyjen? #youtoomatthew”.
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