'Serendipity' Director Spills Why Jennifer Aniston Turned Down the Romantic Comedy Film

Director Peter Chelsom, who in the end recruited Kate Beckinsale to star opposite John Cusack, claims it was the former 'Friends' star's decision not to do the 2001 movie.

AceShowbiz - Kate Beckinsale has Jennifer Aniston to thank for her Hollywood breakthrough role in romantic comedy classic "Serendipity", because the "Friends" star turned the part down.

Director Peter Chelsom claims Aniston was tired of rom-coms and chose to work with Mark Wahlberg in "Rock Star" instead, leaving him with an opportunity to recruit the British actress as the female lead in the 2001 film opposite John Cusack. "Serendipity" marked Beckinsale's biggest American movie role to date.

Beckinsale also starred in World War Two drama "Pearl Harbor", opposite Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett, the same year but was yet to begin the "Underworld" franchise which really shot her onto the A-list internationally.

"I distinctly remember Jennifer Aniston coming in to meet us," the filmmaker told Insider. "I remember when she came in, she said, 'I do a romantic comedy once a week,' her being on 'Friends' at the time. So, she clearly had other things on her plate and it was her decision not to do it... We definitely would have made her an offer if she wanted to make it [the movie]."

Chelsom revealed "Sin City" and "Spy Kids" star Carla Gugino also came "extremely close" to landing the role of Sara Thomas after a "spectacular" audition, but Beckinsale prevailed.

"Serendipity" went on to become a box office success despite mixed reviews from critics, earning a total of $77.5 million worldwide. With an estimated budget of $28 million, this was the first of Chelsom's films to turn a profit.

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