Jennifer Aniston Reveals She Misses ‘Friends’ A Lot and Is ‘Super Nostalgic’

Just when you were getting over Friends dropping off of Netflix comes the news that the show is celebrating its 25th anniversary — and Jennifer Aniston has plenty to say about it. Celebrities sometimes try to distance themselves from their most famous gigs, largely because they don’t want to be defined solely by them. That hasn’t been true for Aniston, who has long proved she has a life outside the show and is now looking back on it fondly.

The one where ‘Friends’ took off

Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Friends ran for 10 seasons and 236 episodes starting on September 22, 1994. This was the creators’ pitch to NBC: 

“It’s about sex, love, relationships, careers, a time in your life when everything’s possible. And it’s about friendship because when you’re single and in the city, your friends are your family.”

David Crane and Marta Kauffman, fresh off the racy HBO series Dream On, came up with an idea based on the time when they finished college and started living on their own in New York. NBC was looking for a series where friends were more like family, although the show was initially called Insomnia Cafe before setting on its more direct title. 

The show took off quickly, starting in the top 10 shows its first season and ranking in the top 5 for the rest of its run. In an interview with InStyle, Aniston remembered:

“When Friends began [in 1994], we were all so wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. We couldn’t believe what was happening, and we had no idea what was coming. On Instagram, Courteney [Cox] recently posted an old photo of all of us on a jet together before the show had even aired. I just remember not understanding that this was my life. The level of gratitude, my god.”

The one where it was a simpler time

Aniston and friends may not have been aware of it at the time, but they were forming what became key components of 90s nostalgia, with Aniston’s hair alone creating a sensation. 

“Looking back, I did have some really epic looks,” said Aniston. “That’s always fun to be reminded of. It’s a positive that comes from being documented your whole life. And you gotta take the good with the bad!”

It’s not just the looks that Aniston remembers fondly, but a time when the world felt more secure. Aniston started to find her confidence in the show, which plays into why the pull of nostalgia is strong. Even if there was danger then, “we didn’t necessarily have it in our faces 24/7. It was lighter. There was a lot more human connection.”

The one where Aniston changes for the better

Aniston’s career is still going strong, with her latest Adam Sandler collaboration, Murder Mystery, catching a lot of viewers on Netflix. She’s also starting promotion for the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show with Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. Aniston and Witherspoon are among the executive producers, with the show premiering this fall. She says that Friends gave her the confidence to take on such ventures.

“I’m at a place now where I actually feel like I’ve grown up and entered into who I am creatively,” said Aniston. “It’s taken me this long to know what I’m capable of, said Aniston. Whereas in 1996 she would have described herself as “sweet, naive, young,” now she thinks of herself as “strong, knowing, excited.” 

Aniston maintains good relationships with her five co-stars, and you can join her in feeling super nostalgic for Friends where you can watch episodes of the show on the big screen. There are three nights scheduled, with four episodes each night on September 22 and 28 and October 2.