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Jennifer Aniston Explains Why HBO Max’s Friends Reunion Was ‘So Scary’

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The cast of the classic 90s sitcom Friends delighted fans last year when they reunited for the first time on screen since the 2004 series finale to Friends: Reunion. There were some really fun moments for fans – including a fashion show with celebrities like Cara Delevingne recreating some unforgettable wardrobe moments, and Lady Gaga joining Lisa Kudrow to sing “Smelly Cat.” But coming back to this set after 17 years too packed an emotional punch for all six actorsand Jennifer Aniston explained what was “so scary” about the experience.

Jennifer Aniston spoke to Sebastian Stan to Varietyfrom the series “Actors on Actors”, where she opened up about her reunion with Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry on camera for the first time since Friends ceased broadcasting after ten seasons. When the Pam and Tommy The actor asked Aniston how it was to see everyone in this setting again, she said it was emotional beyond what they had anticipated:

I don’t know if we expected him to hit us as hard as he did in the emotional gut. We just had the idea that this was going to be so much fun – we go back to the sets exactly as they were. And literally every corner of a shelf was the same. It was so scary. But each of us, we walked in, it was just like, ‘Oh!’ … It was in 2004 when it ended. And we were different. We were so small. Our lives were ahead of us. And so many things have changed. We sort of had rose-colored glasses. And then it was like, ‘It’s definitely a lot heavier than I thought.’

It must have been off-putting to return to this setting so preserved in time, even if the actors had all moved on to other experiences – good and bad – in the years that followed. Jennifer Aniston once talked about getting so emotional that she had to go outand how the special made her “a bit melancholy” thinking of their youth and optimism when the series ended in 2004. Despite all of this, she said, she “wouldn’t change a thing”:

Every time we all come together, it’s like no time has passed. We basically grew up together and taught each other a lot. We are each other’s scapegoat because the world was unfolding. We exploded, and that kind of notoriety was sudden. And we were in these four walls doing the show, and this madness is happening. And thank God we had met, because we really couldn’t talk about it outside. This was before social media, so we still had some common sense.

This nostalgic look at the past follows Jennifer Aniston’s recent comments on The Ellen DeGeneres Show as a guest on the final episode. The Rachel Green actress had been Ellen DeGeneres’ first interview 19 seasons ago and makes frequent appearances on the show. The host asked the actress for advice on how to deal with the end of such an important period of her life, Aniston aptly recalled that with the end of Friends also came the end of her marriage to Brad Pittso she got away with it by starting therapy.

Friends: Reunion maybe more than the actors were ready for, and even Courteney Cox said they were unlikely to do it again. It’s such a shame for die-hard fans, but at least we can continue to rewatch all 10 seasons in syndication and on HBO Max. Be sure to check out some of the others best shows on HBO Max while you’re there!