Jake Gyllenhaal Reveals He Had a Crush on Jennifer Aniston For Years: 'Working With Her Was Not Easy'

by Antoinette Bueno 1:03 PM PDT, April 06, 2016
Playing Jake Gyllenhaal Reveals He Had a Crush on Jennifer Aniston For Years: 'Working With Her Was Not Easy'

Jake Gyllenhaal admits he was pretty smitten with Jennifer Aniston when he worked with her on 2002's The Good Girl.

"I will say, I had a crush on her for years. And working with her was not easy," the 35-year-old actor says in a new interview with People and Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle. "I was -- um, yeah. That's all I'm going to say. It was lovely. It wasn't hard, that's what I would say."

Photo: Getty Images

WATCH: Jake Gyllenhaal Opens Up About His Desire to Be a Father -- 'It Is Definitely a Dream of Mine'

The Demolition actor was 22 when he played Aniston's love interest and co-worker in The Good Girl. Even though Friends was still on air at the time, Gyllenhaal says it wasn't her beloved role as Rachel Green that initially attracted him to her.

"Not so much Friends, but kind of her personality from afar, and movies she was in," he explained. "And some of Friends -- I'm not a huge Friends fan -- but who she is."

Photo: Getty Images

Gyllenhaal will have to get in line, however. The happily married actress, 47, has been the object of plenty of celebrity crushes, including Houston Texans NFL pro J.J. Watt.

"It was great. She was so sweet, so nice, obviously absolutely beautiful, so it was a great day," Watt told ET last June at the ESPY Awards about having recently met his crush at the time. "I don't remember a whole lot about her because I was just so excited to get the photograph and meet her and say hello."

Even Selena Gomez could barely contain herself when she met Aniston, whom she admitted she ran away from after initially meeting in 2009.

"I was shaking!" Gomez, 23, told Just Jared JR. "I ran into Jennifer in the bathroom and she goes, 'Hi!' My legs started to shake and I ran. I didn't know what to do because I freaked out."

"I always say that I worship Rachel McAdams as a movie actress, but for comedy -- the whole reason I started my show [Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place] and mannerisms, they were after Jennifer Aniston," she added.

NEWS: The Compliment Justin Theroux Gives Jennifer Aniston the Most Will Make You Smile

Watch the video below for more on Jennifer and Selena's friendship.