Jennifer Aniston on Walking the Red Carpet for Decades: ‘I Don’t Want To Be Looked At’

Former Friends star Jennifer Aniston is gearing up for the second season of the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show. Serving as both executive producer and lead role Alex Levy, Aniston recently revealed that portraying the complex character has proven to be quite cathartic.

Jennifer Aniston arrives for Apple's 'The Morning Show' global premiere at Lincoln Cente
Jennifer Aniston of ‘The Morning Show’ | ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

‘Friends’ alum says season 2 of ‘The Morning Show’ reflects current issues

Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, who also co-execs and co-stars, had to do massive rewrites on The Morning Show before its premiere in November 2019. In the middle of production when the #MeToo movement swept the country, Aniston shared they are having a déjà vu moment with the coronavirus crisis.

“We had a good six or maybe seven outlines already done, and we were in the middle of shooting [episodes] one and two. And then there was just this feeling, and I couldn’t put my finger on it,” Aniston told Deadline in August 2020. “It was like something’s missing and I don’t know what it is. And then the COVID crisis happened.”

Having to once again modify scripts to reflect current issues, Aniston prefers to see the positives that are coming out of the pandemic.

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“We are incorporating COVID in a way that is so exciting. I mean, I’m not calling COVID exciting by any stretch of the imagination,” The Morning Show star said. “I believe that that’s what we couldn’t put our finger on that we were missing in these first couple shows, was that humanity, it was that level of what’s happening currently in our society. If there’s a silver lining of COVID, it is the level of awareness that I think has been taking place with people.”

Art imitates life for Jennifer Aniston

Aniston’s portrayal of a celebrity journalist in crisis proved to be a healing experience for the actor. With Alex’s extreme highs and lows, along with pressures of being in the spotlight, the Marley & Me star was able to work through some of her own challenges as an A-lister.

“That show was 20 years of therapy wrapped into 10 episodes,” Aniston told the Los Angeles Times of the Apple TV+ series. “There were times when I would read a scene and feel like a whole manhole cover was taken off my back.”

Through her journey playing Alex, Aniston was able to examine her own life in the spotlight.

“Cathartic, yes, and also interesting for me to look at how I always have tried to normalize being fine and ‘everything’s great, you know, this is all normal,’” the former sitcom star shared. “Then there are moments when you have your private breakdown or your ‘Calgon, take me away’ moments. To actually look at it from an actor brain observing it and acknowledging it, I had to look at it as opposed to pretending it doesn’t exist.”

Recalling some red carpet moments

In the second episode of The Morning Show’s first season, Alex has a meltdown in the limo that’s taking her to an awards ceremony being held in her honor. The anxiety of having to paste a smile on her face despite wanting to hide from the world is a feeling to which Aniston can fully relate.

“There have been moments — not to that level of hysteria — but moments of ‘I don’t want to f*cking go here,’” Aniston admitted. “‘I don’t want to walk out onto the carpet,’ ‘I don’t want to be seen,’ ‘I don’t want to be looked at and everyone’s going to be talking about me and judging me’ … that’s real.”

Now prepping for the Apple TV+ show’s second season, Aniston relishes the thought of jumping back in to Alex’s shoes.

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“I can’t wait to get back to work,” Aniston told Deadline. “Just talking about it, it gets me. And Season 2, it’s getting so good.”