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Jennifer Aniston says her emotions caused her to walk off ‘Friends’ reunion set

Aniston added that the 'Friends' reunion special was "jarring"

By Charlotte Krol

Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston. (Picture: Wikimedia commons/Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Jennifer Aniston has revealed that she had to walk out of ‘Friends: The Reunion’ “at certain points” because she became overwhelmed by emotion.

The actor, who portrayed Rachel Greene in the hit US sitcom between 1994-2004, said in a new interview that revisiting her old life proved tricky; that she didn’t expect to be so emotional about the HBO reunion special that aired in May. Additionally, she described the filming process as “jarring”.

When asked by The Hollywood Reporter why she found the reunion “harder than anticipated” she replied: “Time travel is hard.

“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.’ 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?’

She added: “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.”

James Michael Tyler playing Gunther on 'Friends'
James Michael Tyler was best known for playing Gunther on ‘Friends’. (Photo: YouTube).

In October, the cast of ‘Friends’ paid tribute to Gunther actor James Michael Tyler after he died from prostrate cancer aged 59.

Tyler, who played the Central Perk coffee barista, was diagnosed with the advanced cancer in September 2018.

Aniston, who played Gunther’s long term romantic crush, shared a post on Instagram paying tribute to the late actor. “Friends would not have been the same without you. Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and all our friends. You will be so missed.” 

Courteney Cox, who portrayed Monica Geller, posted on Instagram: “The size of gratitude you brought into the room and showed every day on set is the size of the gratitude I hold for having known you. Rest in peace James.”

Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey Tribbiani, also paid tribute to the actor, and shared a still of the two in Central Perk. “We had a lot of laughs buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend.”