Jennifer Aniston Says Filming the Friends Reunion Was More 'Melancholy' Than the Cast Expected

Going back in time is usually bittersweet.
In an exclusive foretaste of her appearance in the Thursday episode of Literally! On the Rob Lowe podcast, Jennifer Aniston contemplates reuniting with her Friends co-stars for the popular show's most recent HBO Max reunion special.
“We didn't know what it would look like. I mean, we've heard about this for a long time. We knew that the people wanted [it] - the fans really wanted some kind of reunion, "recalls the 52-year-old actress." But why unpack the perfectly packaged [series]? You know, leave her where she was.
"When Ben Winston, our producer and director, came up with his idea to each of us, it resonated with all of us," she continues. "And it didn't sound like something that would cheapen or tarnish something that was left perfectly in place."
Jennifer Aniston
Leon Bennett / Getty Images Jennifer Aniston
The end product, a nearly two-hour special that included a sit-down interview with host James Corden, celebrity appearances, tablereads of classic scenes, and more, was an emotional affair for everyone involved. It was the first time Aniston and her co-stars Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer had officially reunited since the sitcom ended in 2004.
"I think we were all hit a lot harder than we expected," Aniston told host Rob Lowe. "Because in your head you're like, 'Oh, this is going to be really fun, time to travel.' It turns out, oh, ouch - it's kind of hard time travel. "
RELATED: Friends Cast Talks Off-Screen Crushes, Breakdowns On Set, and More - 10 Revelations from the Reunion
Brushwood & Taylor / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty
Reunion with friends
Terrence Patrick / HBO Max
"Suddenly you're here. And, you know, for 16 years a lot has happened for each of us. And 16 years ago we were all kind of big eyes and bushy tails and had something like this whole life ahead of us, even if we were heartbroken to say goodbye to these 10 years and this family and these people and the job we did everyone loves. And it gave the fans and ourselves so much pleasure. I mean, it was like taking a happy pill every day. "
"When you go back there, it's nostalgic in a way that is also a little melancholy, you know," she adds. "Because a lot has changed and we've all gone different ways, not that simple and some easy ... for each of us."
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When asked if something needed to be cut out, Aniston says, "There was a time when we were all kind of in a puddle."
"I don't think we broke David," she continues. “But even LeBlanc broke at some point. You know, Mr. Tough Guy. You know our brother. Mr. Impenetrable. Our big brother who would kill anyone if he looked at you the wrong way.
Friends aired for 10 seasons on NBC from 1994 to 2004. Since the finale, some of the stars have reunited off-screen over the years, and everyone but Perry, 52, appeared frequently in director James Burrows' 2016 tribute special.
The full episode from Literally! Rob Lowe is on the road on Thursday.
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Jennifer Aniston
TV and film actress

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