Jennifer Aniston, who starred as the iconic Rachel Green on Friends from 1994 to 2004, has said that being part of the celebrated Friends Reunion was incredibly emotional and led her to walk out of filming "at certain points."
Jennifer, who recently paid tribute to Friends actor James 'Gunther' Michael Tyler with an emotional throwback clip, mentioned all the fun she had on set but also defined it as a "very jarring” experience.
"I think we were just so naive walking into it, thinking, 'How fun is this going to be? They're putting the sets back together, exactly as they were,'" she told The Hollywood Reporter. "Then you get there and it's like, 'Oh right, I hadn't thought about what was going on the last time I was actually here.'"
She went to say, "It just took me by surprise because it was like, 'Hi, past, remember me? Remember how that sucked? You thought everything was in front of you and life was going to be just gorgeous and then you went through maybe the hardest time in your life?'"
The actress also opened up about life after Friends, commenting on her personal and professional experiences. "The career was one thing. I didn't know what was coming, and that's been nothing but blessed," she said. "It's a different caliber of work but I love it, no matter what, even if it's a terribly reviewed, dumb comedy, it doesn't matter if it brings me joy."
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On a personal level, she mentioned that things had "shape-shifted," likely indirectly commenting on her marriage with fellow actor Brad Pritt. The couple was married in 2000 but then divorced in 2005.
"That was what was jarring: that we all had an idea of what the future was going to be and we were going to go hunker down and focus on this or that and then it all just changed overnight, and that was it," she said. "But again, everything's a blessing if you're able to look at life's ups and downs in that way. And if it all hadn't happened, I would not be sitting here the woman that I am."
In what seems to be the most emotional portion of the conversation, Jennifer discussed her feelings towards her late mother Nancy Dow. "I also grew up watching [her] sit comfortably in victimhood and I didn't like how it looked," she said matter-of-factly."
She continued, "I know that this person was giving me an example of what I'd never want to be and I will never ever be that. I think it's toxic, and it erodes your insides and your soul. And listen, is it a sliver of an annoyance to have to publicly go through dark shit in front of the world? Yes, it's an inconvenience, but it's all relative. So, I had a choice to make: either I'm going to surrender into bonbons and living under my covers or I'm going to go out there and find a creative outlet and thrive, and that's what I did. It just happened to be with a movie called The Break-Up."
Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers culture, entertainment, food, fashion and travel news. Anna’s words have appeared on Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Us Weekly, Bon Appetit and Brooklyn Magazine, among other outlets.
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