For fans, HBO Max's "Friends" reunion was the delightful culmination of many years wishing to see the Central Perk crew — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer — back together again on the screen.
The actor went into the reunion thinking it was going to be light and fun, not anticipating the emotions to hit as hard as they did.
"I don’t know we expected for it to sucker punch us as hard as it did in the emotional gut," Aniston said. "We just had the idea this is going to be so fun — we’re going back to the sets exactly the way they were. And literally, every single nook on a shelf was the same. It was so creepy."
"Friends" was about six, well, friends who lived and loved together in New York City in impossibly large apartments, congregating often at the Central Perk coffee shop. It was a huge hit on NBC and spawned catch phrases like "Pivot!" and styles such as Aniston's "The Rachel" haircut.
The cast was known for being particularly close, but after their 10-year run wrapped in 2004, there was some reluctance to revisit the good old days, and so they moved on with their careers. Aniston herself dealt with a very public divorce from Brad Pitt in 2005.
Aniston mentioned that revisiting the iconic series 17 years later was an intense experience, because so much had changed since that final episode aired.
"(It was) time travel," she continued in Variety. "We were different. We were so little. Our lives were ahead of us. And so much has changed ... And then it was like, 'This is really a lot heavier than I thought.'"
Heavier, but made easier with friends. Aniston, 53, remains close with her former castmates.
"Every time we all get together, it’s just like no time has passed," she says. "We basically grew up together, and taught each other a lot ... And thank God we had each other, because we really couldn’t talk about it outside. It was before social media, so we still had some sanity."