Jennifer Aniston Reveals She Walked Out of 'Friends' Reunion After Being Reminded of 'Hardest Time of My Life'

The actress says returning to the set of her iconic sitcom reminded her of the 'hardest time of my life.'

For Jennifer Aniston, reuniting with her Friends co-stars hit her harder than she expected.

The actress reveals that she walked out of the reunion special after being reminded of the "hardest time" in her life.

"Time travel is hard," Aniston tells The Hollywood Reporter in a new interview. "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.' 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.' And 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?'"

"It was all very jarring and, of course, you’ve got cameras everywhere and I’m already a little emotionally accessible, I guess you could say," she continues. "So I had to walk out at certain points. I don’t know how they cut around it."

When asked what made her emotional about life post Friends, she notes that while she worried about her career, "It was more personal stuff that I had expectations about that sort of shape-shifted, so to speak."

"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 recalls. "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."

Aniston was part of Friends for 10 seasons, from 1994 to 2004. Amid that time, she dated and married Brad Pitt. The two were husband and wife from 2000 to 2005. While she doesn't name her first ex-husband as part of the difficult memories, the actress notes that she handled tabloids and news surrounding her personal life by finding a creative outlet with her 2006 film, The Break-Up.

"Is it a sliver of an annoyance to have to publicly go through dark sh*t in front of the world? Yes, it’s an inconvenience, but it’s all relative," she explains. "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."

Aniston says she was looked at as "the girl next door, the damsel in distress, the brokenhearted," but wanted to break out of that. She even shares that she felt like, because of the way people perceived her, she wasn't secure enough in herself to play the "fancy dramatic roles" and get the parts she wanted.

These days, the Emmy winner doesn't know how Hollywood sees her versus the way she wants to be seen. "I don’t know because I don’t know what the industry is anymore. It’s not the same industry that it used to be," she states. "It’s not that glamorous anymore. It’s slowly becoming about TikTok and Instagram followers. It’s like, we’re hiring now based on followers, not talent? Oh, dear. And I’m losing touch. I’m not great at going, 'I’m going to stay relevant and join TikTok.'"

She's also being "offered a lot of very dark stuff, so I guess be careful what you wish for" and will be booked and busy for the next couple of years with projects she's excited for.

"I’m just getting started. I’ve only recently started to be like, 'Oh, I got this,'" Aniston says of her next chapter. "I think I needed to get over those hurdles of self-doubt and own who I am and where I am and just how long I’ve f**king been here."

For more on Aniston, see below.



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