Jennifer Aniston Says She "Went Through the Hardest Time of Her Life" While Filming 'Friends'

The reunion brought it all back.

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Jennifer Aniston prefers to remain as private as she can—which is endlessly understandable given how she has been treated by the media over the course of her career.

But in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actress opened up like she rarely does, giving us raw insight into what life has been like for her since she first found fame. Unfortunately, it hasn't all been a bed of roses.

The interviewer brought up the recent Friends reunion, and the fact that Aniston previously said that it was a difficult experience for her. "Time travel is hard," she quipped in response.

Encouraged to go on, Aniston said, "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 what was going on, apparently, was just really, really hard. "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?'" the actress said. "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."

Aniston didn't say what exactly was so hard for her at the time, but she did explain it wasn't career-related. "It was more personal stuff that I had expectations about that sort of shape-shifted, so to speak," she said. "That was what was jarring, that we all had an idea of what the future was going to be and we were going to go hunker down and focus on this or that and then it all just changed overnight, and that was it. But again, everything’s a blessing if you’re able to look at life’s ups and downs in that way. And if it all hadn’t happened, I would not be sitting here the woman that I am."

Aniston was married to Brad Pitt from 2000 to 2005. Shortly after their split, Pitt began dating now-ex Angelina Jolie. The general assumption is that that's the specific event Aniston is calling "the hardest time" of her life, but obviously that remains up to her to confirm.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.