"I'm not going to say it was peer pressure, but it was peer pressure," Jennifer Aniston joked inside the SAG Awards press room after her win Sunday night

By Jen Juneau and Tomás Mier
January 20, 2020 10:30 AM
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Not even Jennifer Aniston is immune to the lures of social media.

Following her big win at the 2020 SAG Awards on Sunday, The Morning Show actress spoke to reporters in the press room at the Shrine Auditorium about the internet-breaking moment she joined Instagram — and how it wasn’t exactly her own idea.

“I’m not going to say it was peer pressure, but it was peer pressure,” joked Aniston, 50. “If you can’t beat them, join them, right?”

The Friends alum made headlines in October when, after her long-awaited arrival on the social media platform, it temporarily crashed. For a short time, users experienced difficulty following her account, and were redirected to the “follow” button after clicking it a first time. Others were shown the message, “Sorry, this page isn’t available.”

Aniston — who also set a Guinness World Record for the fastest time to reach 1 million followers — told Jimmy Kimmel days later that she finally signed up because she “got tired” of people in her life pushing her to.

“[I’m the] most reluctant person to ever join Instagram. It’s kind of crazy,” she said of her amassed following, which has since reached almost 25 million. “I just got tired of, you know … what you resist persists. So, what the hay?”

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Jennifer Aniston at the 2020 SAG Awards
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Earlier on Sunday night, Aniston took the stage to accept the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a drama series, for her role as Alex Levy on The Morning Show. She beat out fellow nominees Olivia Colman (The Crown), Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown), Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) and Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale).

“This is so unbelievable,” Aniston said during her acceptance speech, which marked her first SAG Award since 1996, when she won with the Friends cast. “Boy did we get to dive deep into our own experiences and our own history and really be able to breathe life into these extraordinary characters. Who knew that emotional breakdowns felt that good? It was literally about seven months of therapy that covered 20 years of work. So thank you for watching that.”

In the press room, when asked about winning during the #MeToo era, she added that she feels “so honored to be a part of a show that is beginning the conversation and the dialogue of an issue that affects every single one of us all across the world.”

“It really has been an incredible experience to explore that and also a very delicate task to take on, but I feel that we have the most capable and wonderful writers and I think they’re doing an exquisite job and I just feel very grateful to be at the forefront of that with everyone,” Aniston said. “Our whole entire cast and crew.”

Jennifer Aniston at the 2020 SAG Awards
Kevork Djansezian/Getty

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Twenty-five years after Friends premiered and almost 16 since it wrapped, Aniston is still extremely close with her castmates Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc.

She has made many an appearance on their social media accounts (particularly on Cox’s Instagram) over the years — and Aniston’s first post on her own feed was a recent group snapshot, with a caption that read, “And now we’re Instagram FRIENDS too. HI INSTAGRAM ??.”

Her most recent post (captioned, “Hi from the girls across the hall ??”) featured two photographs of herself with Cox, 55, and Kudrow, 56, sharing a sweet embrace.

The 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards aired live Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and TBS.