Fans could hardly wait to see the cast of Friends reunite for the 2021 HBO Max special, but for Jennifer Aniston, filming was more emotionally complicated than she anticipated.
The actress told The Hollywood Reporter that she was “so naive” to think that revisiting that time in her life would be easy.
At times during filming, Aniston got so overwhelmed that she “had to walk out,” she said.
“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?'” she recalled. “It was all very jarring.”
Aniston, 52, starred in Friends from 1994 until 2004, a time during which tabloids made much ado about her relationship with actor Brad Pitt, from whom she split in 2005. Although she did not get into specifics in the THR interview, Aniston did tell the publication that while she appeared on comedy series, her expectations for her personal life “sort of shape-shifted.”
Ultimately, her reaction to the media’s obsession with her also evolved.
“I used to take it all very personally — the pregnancy rumors and the whole ‘Oh, she chose career over kids’ assumption. It’s like, ‘You have no clue what’s going with me personally, medically, why I can’t … can I have kids?'” she said. “They don’t know anything, and it was really hurtful and just nasty.”
Now, however, Aniston is grateful to have had all of the experiences that have come her way, good and bad.
“Everything’s a blessing if you’re able to look at life’s ups and downs in that way,” she said. “If it all hadn’t happened, I would not be sitting here the woman that I am.”