Jennifer Aniston while speaking about the feeling of going back to Friends set which was filmed on 17 years after the show came to an end, said, “It was a sucker punch in the heart in a way.”
The 52-year-old “Just Go With It” actress made the statment on SiriusXM’s Gayle King in the House shortly after the highly anticipated Friends special hit HBO Max on Thursday, May 27, and added “It was for all of us, I think. Even Courteney [Cox] we got tears out of.”
Aniston, Cox, 56, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc were very naive in what we were expecting when they returned to Stage 24 at the Warner Bros. Studio to record the comeback.
Another remarkable point was when the former costars saw all the same props and tchotchkes that were used in the original series, which originally aired from 1994 to 2004, they were instantly overwhelmed with emotion.
Jenniffer said, “We romanticized it, but you also have to remember we haven’t been there since the series finale. And that time was a very specific time, when we were saying goodbye to something that we didn’t want to.
“We cared deeply about, but we knew it was the time to say goodbye. Our lives were ahead of us. We had our future ahead of us. It almost felt like time had stopped and we time traveled. And there’s good in that, and then there’s heartbreak in that.”
Jennifer Aniston played Rachel Green for all 10 seasons of the NBC sitcom, which is still a widely beloved TV show more than a decade after it ended. HBO Max originally announced plans for the unscripted special in 2020 but production was delayed due to COVID.
Then in April, the two-hour walk down memory lane was filmed with a star-studded lineup of guests, including Tom Selleck, Reese Witherspoon and Cara Delevingne.
Friends has a strong legacy, and even the actors are quite aware that they’ll never be able to recreate ‘that thing’ that made the original series unique. Jennifer was later asked what the show means to her after all these years, and she didn’t find it easy to get answers.
“It’s really hard to put that into a sentence, except it filled my heart. The amount of love that people have for these six characters is something that you can’t really explain the meaning of it. Being reminded of the amount of happiness this show brought to people, that’s a special thing to be a part of,” she said.