Jennifer Aniston says returning to the original Friends set was a ‘sucker punch to the heart’

‘It was like a sucker punch to the heart!’: Jennifer Aniston says returning to the Friends set after 17 years was like ‘time traveling’ to a specific era of her life

Jennifer Aniston said that returning to the Friends set was like ‘a sucker punch in the heart’.

The 52-year-old actress recently made a triumphant return to the set of the hit sitcom 17 years after the show came to an end to film a reunion special for HBO Max.

And after the special aired last week, the performer has now detailed just how emotional it was to go back to the set that shaped her career.

Big impact: Jennifer Aniston recently expressed that returning to the original Friends set felt like a 'sucker punch in the heart'

Big impact: Jennifer Aniston recently expressed that returning to the original Friends set felt like a ‘sucker punch in the heart’

She said: ‘It was a sucker punch in the heart in a way. It was for all of us, I think. Even Courteney – we got tears out of.’

Aniston – who played Rachel Green in the sitcom from 1994 to 2004 – admitted she and her costars were ‘very naive in what [they] were expecting’ when they returned to Stage 24 at the Warner Bros. Studios to film the reunion.

She also noted that, when she and her costars saw all the same props and set pieces used in the original series, they were overcome with emotion.

The performer remarked: ‘We romanticized it, but you also have to remember we haven’t been there [since the series finale]. And that time was a very specific time, when we were saying goodbye to something that we didn’t want to.

Doing it again: The actress recently appeared in a highly-publicized reunion episode of Friends that featured the participation of the original six cast members

Doing it again: The actress recently appeared in a highly-publicized reunion episode of Friends that featured the participation of the original six cast members

Emotional occasion: The actress also spoke about how her cast members were affected by the return to the show's set and expressed that they even 'got tears out of' Courteney Cox; she is seen in 2017

Emotional occasion: The actress also spoke about how her cast members were affected by the return to the show’s set and expressed that they even ‘got tears out of’ Courteney Cox; she is seen in 2017

‘But we knew it was the time to say goodbye. Our lives were ahead of us. We had our future ahead of us,’ she added.

The Horrible Bosses actress went on to note that she was grateful to have spent time with her old castmates and that it was an undertaking she would not be doing again.

‘It almost felt like time had stopped and we time travelled. And there’s good in that, and then there’s heartbreak in that,’ she remarked.

Looking back: Aniston said that she and her costars 'knew it was the time to say goodbye' to the show after its series finale aired in 2004

Looking back: Aniston said that she and her costars ‘knew it was the time to say goodbye’ to the show after its series finale aired in 2004

And the Morning Show star also said she still struggles to find the words to describe just how important Friends is to her, even after all these years.

Speaking to Gayle King on SiriusXM’s Gayle King In The House, she said: ‘It’s really hard to put that into a sentence, except it filled my heart. 

‘The amount of love that people have for these six characters is something that you can’t really explain the meaning of it. Being reminded of the amount of happiness this show brought to people, that’s a special thing to be a part of,’ she said.

Getting deep: The performer expressed that the connection that the show's fans have to its characters was 'something that you can't really explain'

Getting deep: The performer expressed that the connection that the show’s fans have to its characters was ‘something that you can’t really explain’

The long-awaited episode made its debut earlier this month on the HBO Max streaming service and was released under the titles Friends: The Reunion and The One Where They Got Back Together.

All of the principal cast members returned for the special, which featured several guest stars, including Cara Delevingne, Kit Harington and David Beckham, among others.

The show’s creators, Marta Kauffman and David S. Crane, returned as executive producers for the episode.

Friends: The Reunion received a mostly positive critical response, with many reviewers pointing to the revelations of the cast members as high points of the special. 

Wide release: Friends: The Reunion made its debut on the HBO Max streaming service earlier this month and was met with mostly positive reviews

Wide release: Friends: The Reunion made its debut on the HBO Max streaming service earlier this month and was met with mostly positive reviews