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‘Serendipity’: Kate Beckinsale’s ‘Serendipitous’ Moment With a ‘Grease’ Star’s Girlfriend and the ‘Friends’ Actor Who Turned Down the Role of Sara



December is here, and for many, that means watching Serendipity, the 2001 romantic comedy starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack. While the movie premiered more than two decades ago — yes, really — Beckinsale, who played destiny-obsessed Sara, has experienced serendipity in her own life. She once had a “very on-brand” Serendipity type of interaction in a hotel bathroom. Ahead, how she “fell apart” upon hearing about a fan of the movie. Plus, how Jennifer Aniston almost played Sara and where to watch Serendipity

Kate Beckinsale had a ‘serendipitous’ experience meeting Kenickie’s real-life girlfriend

Like her Serendipity character, Beckinsale has found herself in a “serendipitous” situation from time to time. One particularly memorable moment happened in a hotel bathroom with the girlfriend of the late Grease star Jeff Conaway, who played Kenickie. 

​​“From a very young age, I was really obsessed with Grease, like everybody was,” Beckinsale, 50, told Vulture in 2020. “I learned all the dances, and I can still do them.” 

“And one night, I was at a hotel, washing my hands in the bathroom, and this very nice woman came out of the stalls and said, ‘Oh, are you Kate?” And she said, ‘I’m Jeff Conaway’s girlfriend.’”

“He’d passed away,” Beckinsale continued. “And she said, ‘I want to let you know Serendipity is his absolute favorite movie. We watch it on Christmas every year.’” At that, the actor’s “7-year-old self fell apart.” 

“I think it’s the best thing anyone has ever said to me,” Beckinsale added. “And again — very serendipitous. Very on-brand.”


Jennifer Aniston didn’t want to play Sara because she did a ‘romantic comedy once a week,’according to ‘Serendipity’ director

Add Serendipity to the long list of movies that came close to being cast differently. In an Insider interview marking the film’s 20-year anniversary, director Peter Chelsom revealed Aniston almost played Sara. 

Noting that the role of Sara had been written as American, Chelsom shared that many actors were considered, including the then Friends star. 

“I distinctly remember Jennifer Aniston coming in to meet us,” he recalled. “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,” Chelson continued. “She had come to meet with me in good faith without an offer, but we definitely would have made her an offer if she wanted to make it.”

He also noted The Fall of the House of Usher’s Carla Gugino auditioned and “came extremely close” thanks to a “spectacular” performance, and so did Domina’s Claire Forlani.

How to watch ‘Serendipity’ in December 2023


Now for details on how to watch Serendipity. At the time of writing, the only streamer to have it — without any additional costs — is Max. 

Other ways to watch the 2001 romantic comedy include streaming it with a premium subscription to YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu. Serendipity is also available to rent for $3.99 via AppleTV, Redbox, Vudu, and Google Play. 

Whatever the way Serendipity is watched, just know it doesn’t come with a frozen hot chocolate from the eponymous New York restaurant or a lone black cashmere glove.

Source: Cheat Sheet


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