Jennifer Aniston Had to Walk Off 'Friends' Reunion Set 'At Certain Points': 'Time Travel Is Hard'

Jennifer Aniston reunited with her Friends costars to film an HBO Max special nearly two decades after the series ended

friends reunion
Photo: Terrence Patrick/HBO Max

Jennifer Aniston says filming the Friends reunion special earlier this year brought up some tough memories.

Aniston, 52, opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about her experience reuniting with her Friends costars for the HBO Max special, which aired on the streaming platform in May. Aniston said she expected the reunion to be "fun," but ended up walking out of filming "at certain points" after becoming emotional.

"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,' " she said. "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.' "

Jennifer Aniston for The Hollywood Reporter
Photographed by Ruven Afanador

"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?' " Aniston continued.

She described the experience as "very jarring," explaining, "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, who starred as Rachel Green on Friends from 1994 to 2004, told THR that she and her costars were convinced to film the reunion by director Ben Winston, but she said that filming brought its own challenges, admitting, "Time travel is hard."

Jennifer Aniston for The Hollywood Reporter
Photographed by Ruven Afanador

Aniston previously revealed that she felt "melancholy" filming the reunion. During a conversation on Rob Lowe's Literally! With Rob Lowe podcast in September, Aniston said the reunion "really took us all down way harder than we anticipated."

"Going back there, it's nostalgic in a way that's kind of also a little melancholy, you know," she said at the time. "Because a lot has changed and we have all gone down different roads, not so easy and some easy ... for each of us."

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Friends also starred Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, all of whom joined Aniston for the HBO Max reunion. She told Lowe that at one point, she and her costars were "all kind of in a puddle."

"Even LeBlanc broke at one point. You know, Mr. Tough Guy," she said. "You know, our brother. Mr. Impenetrable. Our big brother who would kill anybody if they looked at you wrong. Even he got a little misty."

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