Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow revisited old memories during a video chat for Variety’s Actors on Actors issue. The actresses reminisced about their days on Friends — 10 years to be exact — and admitted the popular sitcom gave them professional commitment issues when the series wrapped in 2004.
“When you are producing, you’re there from the ground up, coming up with the idea and the show — and then the scripts and then the crew and then the cast. Do you find that to be more of a comfortable place to work from, or do you enjoy going into an already formed family and you’re the guest family member for the time?” Aniston asked her former co-star.
“I like being the guest family member for the time. When I’m producing my own thing, that’s different, but I have a commitment issue since Friends, to be honest with you,” Kudrow replied.
“Just fear of committing to something because nothing will ever be as good as Friends? I understand,” Aniston added.
“Friends, it’s not like, ‘Oh, it was such hard work for 10 years,’” Kudrow shared. “It’s not that. It was that I know that show worked because we all committed to each other too. It wasn’t just committing to a role, committing to a contract. We all still love each other. Our cast is like that, and that’s why that worked. I think part of me died. I can’t do that again. I’m not going to do that again.”
At one point during the hour-long virtual reunion, Kudrow asked her friend if she watched any episodes of Friends while staying home during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I love it. I love stumbling on a Friends episode,” Aniston noted. “This one time I was with Courteney [Cox], and we were trying to find something to reference, an old Friends thing. And then we stumbled on — there’s bloopers online — and we sat there at the computer like two nerds watching these bloopers laughing at ourselves.”
Kudrow knew exactly what Aniston was talking about, admitting she also has watched bloopers for “hours.”
Aniston said what she loves when she watches an episode of Friends is remembering the exact moment when someone broke character during filming.
“Here’s what I love, is when I watch an episode, I’ll usually remember where we broke during the scene,” Aniston added.
“You do?!” a surprised Kudrow replied.
“You and I would always get into these fits of laughter because you had this wonderful ability to — you were about to hit your punchline, and you would do this adorable thing where you would break. You would say the punchline, and you would always turn to the audience and say, ‘I’m sorry, it’s really funny.’” (Friends taped in front of a live audience.)
“Yeah, I didn’t want to say the punchline, right?” Kudrow said in agreement. “I didn’t want to ruin it.”
“You did have an ability to giggle, to break during the punchline. Because you as Lisa also thought it was funny, what Phoebe was saying. Which was so endearing,” Aniston added.
“Which is a commitment issue,” Kudrow interjected.
“And then I would watch you do that, and then I would break,” Aniston added. “We were terrible.”
Aniston remembered one scene vividly that had her laughing: “The scene when the bagpipes happened.”
She’s referring to Season 7, Episode 15 titled “The One With Joey’s New Brain.” David Schwimmer’s character, Ross, was learning how to play the bagpipes for Monica (Cox) and Chandler’s (Matthew Perry) wedding.
“The bagpipes — where you started to sing full 100 percent-sounding like the bagpipe — I couldn’t hold it together,” Aniston laughed. “No one could hold it together.”