Jennifer Aniston Remembers Matthew Perry, ‘Friends’: ‘Family Forever’

Friends is just a few months shy of turning 30 years old, a fact that Jennifer Aniston and Abbott Elementary creator Quinta Brunson reflected on for Variety’s popular Actors on Actors series in an interview published Thursday.

During the heartfelt discussion, Aniston recalled Friends’ early days, when she and Matthew Perry pulled a light prank on co-star Lisa Kudrow as she was getting her hair done.

“It’s so strange to even think that it’s 30 years old,” Aniston said after Brunson brought up the anniversary. “I remember the day that it was going to premiere on television, on NBC: Matthew Perry and I were having lunch somewhere, and we knew Lisa was getting her hair colored. So we ran into the hair salon, and I snuck up — she was in the sink — and I took the nozzle from the guy that was supposed to be doing it and just started washing her hair. It definitely flew out of control, and that was unfortunate. But the excitement we had, it feels like yesterday.”

The duo spoke as they’re both vying for Emmy consideration: Brunson with Abbott Elementary and Aniston for The Morning Show.

Aniston also spoke about the staying power the sitcom, which debuted in 1994 and remains one of the most popular shows on streaming. “The fact that it’s had this long, wonderful life and it still means a lot to people is one of the greatest gifts I think all five of us — all six of us — we never could imagine,” Aniston said. “And we see each other. I talked on FaceTime with Court last night for an hour, and Lisa and the boys, and we just have a really — it’s a family forever.”

Perry died on Oct. 28, 2023, and following his death, Aniston shared a tribute to the actor. “He was such a part of our DNA. We were always the 6 of us,” she wrote at the time. “This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be.”


Outside of Friends, Aniston and Brunson spoke about the pressures of social media while working on a show and the freedom that came with no social media and smartphones when shows in the Nineties and aughts were developed.

“I long for the days. I’m like, Man, I wish I could have been a showrunner, an actor, back then, when it wasn’t ‘We’re a part of your thing, and we know your handle,’” Brunson told Aniston. “It’s just jarring. I had a strict no social media policy for the first season, and I said, ‘I don’t care what social media is asking us to do. We have to do what we, the writers, want to do. We know these characters. This is our world.’”

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