Does Jennifer Aniston Regret Acting on Friends?

We’ll answer the title of this article ourselves so you don’t have to: No, Jennifer Aniston doesn’t regret being on Friends. However, she did have one small regret while acting there we’ll tell you about later.

What’s most important to say is Aniston found Friends invaluable in various ways toward her career. Whether it still meant shaking off some sort of stereotype is worth exploring since Friends reruns are more relevant than ever. Well, other than some of the plot situations being considered offensive today.

Let’s take a minute to explore how Aniston really feels about her time on Friends and whether she’ll find something else to override the pop culture of playing Rachel. Based on early reviews, it might not necessarily happen with Apple TV+’s The Morning Show.

Aniston admits ‘Friends’ made everything for her

Jennifer Aniston onstage
Jennifer Aniston | Kris Connor/Getty Images

It’s clear (without Jennifer Aniston having to say so) that Friends made the careers of all its cast members. Without it, Aniston might have ended up on a different trajectory maybe not lasting quite as long as she’s enjoyed.

One path she likely would have taken is one we’ve written about before: Taking a job on Saturday Night Live in 1994. At the time, they were looking to revamp their cast lineup, and no doubt Aniston would have helped bring some comedic value. Her decision to skip the show in favor of Friends had everything to do with her astute foresight.

Yes, SNL was a bit of a boys club at the time, which would have created situations so many women have had to put up with until the #MeToo Movement changed things.

Aniston clearly was able to see ahead at what kind of career she would have had without Friends. No wonder she reiterated how much the latter show meant to her on Howard Stern’s radio show recently.

But, Aniston might have been a star anyway

Let’s not necessarily knock the idea of Aniston being on SNL. After all, it’s always been a great forum for creating comedic stars. Had she gone there, she might have been known primarily as a comedian and perhaps would have transitioned into doing successful comedy films.

As we all know, some of Aniston’s movies have been dramas as much as comedies, giving her a chance to become a truly award-worthy performer. Our imagined alt-reality would still have Aniston becoming a famous actress had she not have done Friends.

Perhaps you can argue it would have opened additional doors rather than everyone thinking of her as Rachel when they see her. One thing for sure is she hated that Rachel haircut, outside of loving everything else.

In almost every interview, Aniston says she always feels nostalgic about Friends and wishes she could still be doing it now. With the show paying her and the other cast members $20 million per year, you can see why Aniston won’t say anything bad about the show for the rest of her life.

Will Aniston find similar success on another show?

Outside of doing many movie projects (plus some movies for Netflix), Aniston has never committed to another series for good reason. Only working with Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell was enough to convince her to take on a new streaming show for Apple TV+.

The Morning Show is still a bit of a wild card, though. Early reviews have been very mixed, yet also calling it “binge-worthy” based on star power alone. Maybe this show won’t be the one setting her far apart from her Rachel character after all.

While it’s still too early to tell, Aniston may not want to do anything to completely reinvent herself. No matter the characters she plays, she’s still essentially playing her own persona with hints of Rachel.

Being comfortable with that is enviable when so many actors want to escape the roles making them iconic.