“Friends: The Reunion,” which premiered on HBO Max this week, may have been emotional for fans, but it was on an entirely different level for the cast.
In a new interview with Gayle King on her SiriusXM show “Gayle King in the House,” star Jennifer Aniston opened up about what it was like to return to the “Friends” soundstage Stage 24 on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, California.
“It was a sucker punch in the heart in a way,” Aniston admitted. “It was for all of us, I think. Even Courteney we got tears out of.”
Aniston went on to say that when returning to the set, the cast was “very naive in what we were expecting,” adding that they quickly became overcome with emotion.
“We romanticized it, but you also have to remember we haven’t been there [since the series finale],” she explained. “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,” Aniston continued. “And there’s good in that, and then there’s heartbreak in that.”
As for what the show ultimately means to her, Aniston said, “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,” she stated. “Being reminded of the amount of happiness this show brought to people, that’s a special thing to be a part of.”
Aniston also talked about the palpable chemistry she had with her costar David Schwimmer, who played Ross on “Friends.”
“We just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel,” Aniston insisted. “I remember saying one time to David, ‘It’s gonna be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is gonna be on national television.’ Sure enough, first time we kissed was in that coffee shop.”