Inside Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock’s Supportive and Unwavering Friendship Story (Exclusive)

On March 30, Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock arrived at the Hayes Theater in New York City to watch their pal Sarah Paulson perform in the play Appropriate. They were accompanied by Bullock’s 14-year-old son, Louis, Jason Bateman and his wife, Amanda Anka, Ed Norton and his wife, Shauna Robertson, and Sean Hayes — but spent most of the evening bonding with each other.

“Sandra and Jen were seated next to each other in the theater and were chatting and laughing together during intermission,” an onlooker exclusively shares in the latest issue of Us Weekly, noting that the whole group headed backstage after the show to hang with the cast. “Sandra and Jen were linked at the hip all night,” the onlooker adds. “They were having a great time together.”

The A-listers have been friends since the mid-’90s, but they’ve grown closer in recent years. Bullock, 59, has been there for Aniston, 55, amid her high-profile divorces from Brad Pitt and Justin Theroux, and Aniston was a shoulder to cry on for Bullock after the Oscar winner lost her longtime partner, Bryan Randall, in August following his three-year battle with ALS. “There is a lot of love and respect between Jen and Sandra,” says a source. “They have extremely similar personalities and are both fearless.”

Instant Connection

The longtime pals detailed their relationship history for an Aniston cover story in Interview magazine in 2020. The duo revealed that their mutual ex, actor Tate Donovan, whom they both dated in the 1990s, first introduced them at a pre–Golden Globes party. “He seems to have a type,” quipped Aniston.

Later, the actresses hung out at a friend’s wedding, where they took shots of Jack Daniel’s. “That was the first time I got sick drinking with you,” Bullock recalled.

The stars said they eventually connected on a deeper level. “Anyone who has the honor of being in your home and in your life doesn’t want to leave because it’s safe, it’s emotional, it’s joyous,” Bullock gushed. Aniston added, “The conversation around women supporting women is new, but I think we’ve been doing it a long time.”

In July 2020, the Friends alum posted a photo showing her celebrating Bullock’s 56th birthday with Anka, Paulson and Paulson’s partner, Holland Taylor, writing, “Happy Birthday Sandy We Love You!” They ushered in Halloween together in October 2022, with Aniston sharing a video of her and Bullock carving pumpkins. And for Bullock’s 59th birthday, Aniston revealed her cute nickname for the Miss Congeniality star with a heartfelt birthday post that read, “Happy Birthday Sand-a-La. We love you so much,” alongside photos of them with their girl squad, which includes Anka and Aniston’s Friends costar Courteney Cox (see box for more on their inner circle).

No Competition

The two ultra-successful A-listers could’ve easily become Hollywood rivals — but instead became each other’s biggest cheerleaders. “Jen and Sandra had to manage some tricky situations over the years when they were up for the same jobs,” reveals the source. “[But] it became clear in the early 2000s that they would both benefit from being allies.” (The source says it helped that Aniston and Bullock are repped by the same team at Creative Arts Agency.)

Inside Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock’s Supportive and Unwavering Friendship Story (Exclusive)

To this day, they continue to root for each other. “Jen’s never been jealous of Sandra and always felt she deserved her success and had an amazing instinct for material,” says the source, adding that Bullock “also had a whole action movie career that was completely distant from the rom-com space that Jen is so comfortable in.”

The actresses have a good deal in common. Beyond their onscreen talent, undeniable charisma and love of architecture and design, the pair are natural-born leaders. Aniston (who’s worth an estimated $300 million) launched her production company, Echo Films, in 2008; she and her partner Kristin Hahn are executive producers of Aniston’s hit Apple TV+ drama, The Morning Show. Bullock (worth an estimated $250 million) founded Fortis Films in 1995; she’s served as producer on many of her movies, including her last project, 2022’s The Lost City.

“Jen and Sandra have great business instincts,” says the source. “When it comes down to it, there simply aren’t a lot of other actresses out there who they can relate to so well with multi-decade career trajectories.”

Aniston is more “Hollywood” than Bullock, often hosting dinner parties and get-togethers at her $21 million Bel-Air mansion, while Bullock — who announced in March 2022 that she was stepping back from work commitments to focus on life at home with her kids — spends most of her time at her Texas property with son Louis and daughter Laila, 12. “Sandra made the decision not to raise her children in L.A.,” says 
the source. “She really enjoys just being a normal mom, driving her kids around and being there to support them.”

Inside Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock’s Supportive and Unwavering Friendship Story (Exclusive)

Her Rock

Bullock leaned on Aniston after Randall’s passing at the age of 57. In January, Bullock’s sister, Gesine, shared that the actress had recently spread Randall’s ashes in Wyoming. “Happy birthday, Bry,” she wrote. “Sandy brought you to the river, just as she promised.”

Bullock is still grieving, but the clouds are starting to lift. Her recent girls’ trip to NYC with Aniston was a success. “Jen is especially plugged into Sandra’s world,” says the source, “and even when Sandra can’t be in L.A., she and Jen stay in touch.”

Bullock’s also gearing up to return to work. “Sandra is bouncing back after losing Bryan and she’s ready to make movies again,” says the source, noting that the Blind Side star has been reading scripts and is looking to do a comedy. “She’s just waiting for something to land in her mailbox that she can’t say no to. Sandra feels like she still has more to do and more to say.”

With reporting by Travis Cronin

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