It took no time for the Internet to fantasize about a dreamy reconciliation for bankable superstars Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston following their red carpet run-in at the 2020 SAG Awards on Sunday night.
It has been some 15 years since the former couple announced the dissolution of their four-year marriage. Aniston, 50, and Pitt, 56, originally met each other in 1998 while Aniston was starring as Rachel on what would become one of television’s iconic sitcoms, “Friends,” and Pitt had just been nominated for an Oscar for his role in “12 Monkeys.”
The pair were set up by their agents, and Aniston told Diane Sawyer in a 2004 interview that her first encounter with Pitt was “very easy” and “very fun.”
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston attend the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, Calif.
(Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Turner)
In September 1999, the secret couple finally made their red carpet debut as an item at the Emmys before getting engaged just two months later, Aniston showing off her new diamond engagement ring, while she and Pitt danced the night away on stage at a Sting show in November.
Wedding bells rang for Pitt and Aniston eight months later in July 2000 when they exchanged nuptials in a Malibu, Calif., wedding that reportedly cost $1 million. Cameron Diaz, Salma Hayek and all of Aniston’s “Friends” co-stars were among the 200 guests in attendance.
And as “Friends” fans are sure to remember, in November 2001, Pitt made a guest appearance on the series, starring as an enemy of Aniston’s character. People magazine reported at the time that Pitt flooded her trailer with 1,500 roses on Valentine’s Day and also spelled out “I Love my Wife” with the petals.
In the same interview with Sawyer, Aniston told the ABC host that Pitt was the “love of my life” and that pair hoped to have “at least” two children.
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston attend the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
(Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Turner)
“I can’t image being with any other human being. I married him because he was the love of my life,” she said at the time. “He’s the most fun I’ve ever had.”
Aniston and Pitt dropped the hammer on pop culture in January 2005, when they announced their split to the world, ending an era as Hollywood’s golden couple.
“We would like to announce that after seven years together we have decided to formally separate. For those who follow these sorts of things, we would like to explain that our separation is not the result of any of the speculation reported by the tabloid media. This decision is the result of much thoughtful consideration,” they told People magazine at the time.
Brad Pitt and actress Jennifer Aniston attend the ‘Rock Star’ Westwood Premiere on September 4, 2001, at the Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, Calif.
(Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
“We happily remain committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another. We ask in advance for your kindness and sensitivity in the coming months.”
Images of Pitt and his “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” co-star Angelina Jolie, 44, would emerge less than five months later, which Aniston told Vanity Fair, “cracked” her “open” in a way that made dealing with the pain a difficult task, especially seeing her personal life play out publicly.
“There are many stages of grief,” she said. “It’s sad, something coming to an end. It cracks you open, in a way — cracks you open to feeling. When you try to avoid the pain, it creates greater pain. I’m a human being, having a human experience in front of the world. I wish it weren’t in front of the world. I try really hard to rise above it.”
Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt
Aniston and Pitt’s divorce was finalized in October 2005. Pitt married Jolie in 2014 but the two split in 2016. Their divorce was finalized in 2019.
Meanwhile, following her divorce from Pitt in 2005, Aniston went on to marry Justin Theroux in 2015. The couple, who began dating in 2011, ultimately split in 2018.
Pitt and Aniston have sparked reconciliation rumors after admitting that they’re still good friends. The 56-year-old actor even attended her 50th birthday celebration as well as her star-studded holiday party in 2019.
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt first met each other in 1998.
After backstage video footage emerged Sunday night of Pitt marveling at Aniston’s acceptance speech at the SAG Awards, many celebrities and fans on social media rushed to their nearest wishing wells in order to reimagine what an Aniston-Pitt union might look like in 2019.
“My tender heart can’t take this,” echoed Rumer Willis.
Reality star and TV personality Morgan Stewart also got in on the fun, adding, “I’m not emotionally prepared to handle this at this stage in my life,” while “American Idol” alum Jordin Sparks simply wrote, “OMG.”
Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004.
Meanwhile, fans collectively went into a frenzy over the photos. “I never thought I’d root for Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt to get back together but… #SAGAwards,” tweeted one person.
Said another individual: “I’m FULLY committed to this Brad and Jen thing guys I don’t care!!!!! #BradPitt #JenniferAniston.”
Then there was this: “Plot twist THEY WERE ON A BREAK #SAGAwards #jenniferaniston #BradPitt,” said one social media user.
Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.