Jennifer Aniston was not always there for the Friends reunion—why she had to walk off set a few times

Jennifer Aniston shared that the emotional weight of filming the Friends reunion led her to step away from the set at times.

The highly anticipated Friends reunion, which aired on HBO Max in May, was a heartwarming moment for fans of the iconic sitcom. However, for Jennifer Aniston, the experience was emotionally intense, prompting her to excuse herself from the set multiple times.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Aniston revealed that returning to the recreated sets brought back a flood of memories and emotions she hadn’t anticipated.

“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,'” Aniston shared. “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.'”

The actress continued, reflecting on the challenges she faced during the show’s original run and how they resurfaced during filming: “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, so I had to walk out at certain points. I don’t know how they cut around it.”

Aniston had previously discussed the emotional impact of reuniting with her Friends castmates, revealing on Rob Lowe’s podcast Literally! that they had all ended up in tears at one point.

Despite the challenges, Aniston remains connected to the show’s legacy. She recently appeared in the third installment of Live in Front of a Studio Audience, playing Blair Warner in a recreation of a Facts of Life episode. Aniston concluded her final scene with an homage to Friends, telling co-star Jon Stewart, “I’ll be there for you.”

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