The One Where Jen Misses Friends: Jennifer Aniston’s nostalgia for her Friends years is filled with “absolute, pure joy.” Aniston, who depicted Rachel Green in the hit '9m0s series, opened up about her time on the show in InStyle’s 25th anniversary issue. “I started to find my confidence when I was on Friends, for sure," Aniston told InStyle’s Laura Brown. "In a way, being on that show was the ultimate trust exercise. There was comfort in numbers there, so we all held each other up.”
She added of the nostalgia, “I miss a lot about that time. Having a job that was absolute, pure joy. I miss getting to be with people I love massively and respect beyond words. So, yes, these days I'm super nostalgic. Anything can make me go, 'Aww.' Even [retailer] Fred Segal, I guess. I don't know why that one got me."
Friends debuted in 1994 on NBC and propelled the series' stars — Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc — into fame. Aniston depicted spoiled girl turned working woman Rachel Green who held jobs at fashion giants such as Bloomingdale’s and Ralph Lauren. When the show premiered, Aniston recalled a “wide-eyed and bushy-tailed” cast that “had no idea what was coming.” She told InStyle, "I just remember not understanding that this was my life. The level of gratitude, my God."
So, basically… no one told them life was gonna be this way. During her interview, Aniston also reflected on her nostalgia for the ‘90s and the safety that the decade evoked. “When I think back on the '90s, it makes me nostalgic — period. They were simpler times,” Aniston told InStyle. “This is going to sound odd, but there was a sense of safety in the world. We weren't exposed to as much as we are now. And even if there was just as much sh*t going on, we didn't necessarily have it in our faces 24/7. It was lighter. There was a lot more human connection."
In a sentiment sure to invoke her Rachel Green persona, Aniston added, “Back then, Fred Segal on Melrose was still alive and kicking, you know? I’m still very fond of those Maharishi pants from the ’90s. I had so many pairs, including the most beautiful orange ones with embroidery and a dragon going up the back. I’m mad because I only have one pair left now.”
Since the Friends finale in 2004, Aniston has cemented herself as a tour de force in Hollywood. She’ll star next in the Apple comedy series The Morning Show opposite Steve Carrell and Reese Witherspoon — a job she dubbed “the hardest” she’s “done thus far.” The series, however, served as “a great reminder” of why she’s in the industry. "I'm at a place now where I actually feel like I've grown up and entered into who I am creatively. It's taken me this long to know what I'm capable of,” she told InStyle. “I didn't always know. I think I used to put a lot of that in the hands of other people. Now I'm taking ownership of it. And you know what? It feels really good."
Aniston's nostalgia for Friends is a relatable sentiment for '90s kids everywhere. The series may have ended, but Rachel Green lives on forever.