Jennifer Aniston Breaks Down in Tears Discussing ‘Friends’ As Its 30th Anniversary Approaches

“The fact that it’s had this long, wonderful life and it still means a lot to people is one of the greatest gifts.”

Jennifer Aniston at the 2010 Golden Globes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Friends—the hit NBC sitcom that launched Jennifer Aniston’s career, as well as the careers of her five co-stars—will turn 30 years old this year, and naturally, it came up in conversation when fellow actress Quinta Brunson interviewed Aniston for Variety’s Actors on Actors series

Jennifer Aniston and Quinta Brunson

Aniston and Brunson teamed up for the Actors on Actors series from "Variety."

(Image credit: Variety)

After a producer prompted Brunson to ask about what it’s like for Aniston to watch episodes of Friends in 2024, Aniston got emotional and said “Oh God, don’t make me cry.” Brunson emphatically responds, telling Aniston “But you’re already crying. Do you want a minute? We don’t have to talk about—”

“No, no. Sorry,” Aniston responded. “I just started thinking about…Yeah, no. I’m okay. It’s a happy tear.”


The hit show premiered 30 years ago this year on NBC.

(Image credit: Getty)

Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green on "Friends"

The show launched Aniston's career, and the famed "Rachel" haircut, named after her character Rachel Green.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Aniston recovered and spoke about Friends—which aired for 10 years, from 1994 to 2004—and what it felt like to see the beloved show turn 30: “It’s so strange to even think that it’s 30 years old, because I remember the day that it was going to premiere on television, on NBC,” Aniston said, per Entertainment Weekly. “Me and Matthew Perry were having lunch somewhere, and we knew Lisa [Kudrow] was getting her hair colored. So we ran into the hair salon, and I snuck up—she was in the sink, hair bowl—and I took the nozzle and just started washing her hair from the guy that was supposed to be doing it. It definitely flew out of control, and that was unfortunate. But the excitement we had—it feels like yesterday.”

Aniston and Kudrow—as well as Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer—continue to mourn the loss of Perry, who died at just 54 years old last October. But, thankfully, there are 10 years’ worth of memories onscreen that will never go away. “The fact that it’s had this long, wonderful life and it still means a lot to people is one of the greatest gifts I think all five of us—all six of us—we never could imagine,” Aniston said. “I talked on FaceTime with [Cox] last night for an hour, and Lisa and the boys, and we just have a really—it’s a family forever.”

Friends cast

The show ran for a decade and wrapped in 2004, but, as Aniston said, "it's a family forever."

(Image credit: Getty Images/Reisig & Taylor/NBC)

Aniston also expounded how the time the show was filmed—pre-the technology of today—allowed her and her five co-stars to escape criticism of the show. “It was in the ‘90s and 2000s, and we had a luxury of there not being social media or the internet, so we were so isolated and protected,” she said. “You weren’t faced with what people are commenting and ripping you apart or whatever. It was a dreamy time, and I know I sound sort of nostalgic, but we were really about the work, we were really about the show.”

She added, poignantly, “It was really an innocent time, where we could roam about the world a lot easier.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.