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Jennifer Aniston Said She Was "Naive" Going Into The "Friends" Reunion And That It Took Her "By Surprise"

"It just took me by surprise because it was like, 'Hi, past, remember me? Remember how that sucked?'"

You might have welcomed the 2021 Friends reunion as much as the next person, but it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for Jennifer Aniston.

The cast of Friends sitting on the show's famous couch during the reunion show
HBO Max / YouTube

In a new Q&A with the Hollywood Reporter, the Emmy-winning actor talked about how revisiting the set of the classic sitcom brought back memories of the "hardest time" in her life.

Jennifer Aniston on the red carpet of the Screen Actors Guild Awards
Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images

"Time travel is hard," she said, referencing going back in time to '90s-era New York. "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.'"

A throwback photo of Jennifer and Lisa Kudrow on the sidewalk outside the coffee shop Central Perk
©Warner Brothers / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Jennifer revealed the experience took her "by surprise." "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?'"

Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

"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," she added. "I don’t know how they cut around it."

The cast in front of a fountain during the reunion
Terence Patrick / HBO Max

While Jen clarified that her career has been "nothing but blessed," she admitted that it was "more personal stuff that I had expectations about that sort of shape-shifted." Regardless, she's since welcomed the hardships because it's made her the "woman that I am."

David Livingston / Getty Images

Of course, Jennifer's difficulties included navigating the tabloid and media frenzy circa the early 2000s, particularly following her split with Brad Pitt. Even as late as 2016, the actor called out paparazzi stalking and the excessive media scrutiny on her body. Speaking with THR, the 52-year-old said she learned to move past the noise despite it being "really hurtful and just nasty."

To read Jennifer's full interview with THR, click here.