Why Friends' Jennifer Aniston 'Had To Walk Out' Of The HBO Max Reunion Special A Few Times

Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston in Friends
(Image credit: NBC)

It’s been over six months since the long-awaited Friends reunion special aired on HBO Max, and it feels like we're already due for another one. The cast of the beloved and popular sitcom got together for the highly publicized one-night-only reunion to reflect on the mega-popular series. It was definitely an emotional time for all invovled, and Jennifer Aniston has reflected anew upon what it was really like returning to the Warner Bros. stage.

Jennifer Aniston has spoken out before what it was like filming the Friends reunion and how melancholy and emotional it was. Now the actress has revealed to THR that being thrust back into reliving her past caused her to walk out of the special a few times:

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.' 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.' 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?' 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.

It’s not surprising to hear that Aniston had a powerful reaction to returning to that iconic sitcom set. It was her first time being back and reunited with everyone within that environment in nearly 20 years. A lot can change in that time, and it did, and a lot of memories and feelings from that time no doubt came bubbling back up. Not everything was picture-perfect behind the scenes for Aniston and the rest of the cast, and it makes sense that having all of those feelings swirling around again would have a physical effect. 

Just a few months after the special premiered, Jennifer Aniston talked about what she'd learned during the reunion, which amounted to the idea that her history with the show and her co-stars "is eternal." No matter how much time has passed, now how much time will pass going foward, it’s clear that this series will always hold a special place in Aniston’s heart. To the point where sometimes, she has to take a second to compose herself. 

There won’t be another Friends reunion for a long while, if another one ever happens in full, so Jennifer Aniston definitely has time to reflect more on her past as she gets even farther away from her time on the show. She's no longer the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed starlet she was when she first landed the role of Rachel Green, which has definitely worked out for her crafting a long and successful career in the intervening years. 

Here's hoping that Aniston can stay as close to her cast mates as she once was, even if there isn't any hanky-panky involved with a certain co-star whose name rhymes with Snavid Snimmer.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.