Jennifer Aniston couldn’t land roles after Friends (and that made her panic)

Jennifer Aniston once opened up about what life after Friends was like for her way back when the series wrapped. Most notably, how long it took to fully “escape” her beloved role.

For many fans of Friends (and there are oh-so-many out there), Jennifer Aniston will forever be linked to her iconic character of Rachel Green. When it comes to critical acclaim and celebrity notoriety, the 10-season series undeniably put its entire cast on the Hollywood map in a serious way. This fact is for better or for worse.

After Friends came to an end back in 2004, it seemed to most that the sky was the limit for its lovable cast, especially when pursuing new roles. But according to Aniston, that wasn’t always the case. And mega fans weren’t the only ones who couldn’t unsee the actress as Rachel Green. Some casting directors couldn’t either.

As E! News reports, The Morning Show star opened up in 2020 about how becoming so famous for playing Rachel Green definitely came at a cost to her career. During a roundtable discussion hosted by The Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Aniston explained how her professional and personal life was affected following Friends, saying:

You just exhaust yourself. I mean, I could not get Rachel Green off of my back for the life of me. I could not escape ‘Rachel from Friends,’ and it’s on all the time and you’re like, ‘Stop playing that f**king show! The Good Girl was the first time I got to really shed whatever the Rachel character was, and to be able to disappear into someone who wasn’t that was such a relief to me.

Rachel Green

385848 06: Actress Jennifer Aniston star as Rachel Green of NBC’s comedy series “Friends.” (Photo by Warner Bros. Television)

Aniston continued with:

But I remember the panic that set over me, thinking, ‘Oh God, I don’t know if I can do this. Maybe they’re right. Maybe everybody else is seeing something I’m not seeing, which is you are only that girl in the New York apartment with the purple walls.’ So, I was almost doing it for myself just to see if I could do something other than that. And it was terrifying because you’re doing it in front of the world.

The talented actress also revealed that it wasn’t just her role as Rachel that stood in her way once upon a time. When it came to her lead role in The Good Girl, she said that the transition from comedy to drama was pretty daunting. Looking back, it seems that risk proved worth it for the A-list actress, now with many notable acting credits under her belt.

In 2020, Jennifer Aniston won a much-deserved SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor for her role on the popular Apple TV+ drama series The Morning Show. And it had been a long time coming.

As noted by E! News, the 51-year-old actress also noted that she has fought with herself and who she was “in this industry, forever,” adding:

And it was constantly about trying to prove that I was more than that person. But there is such a freedom in getting older because you just stop giving a crap.

Well said, Jennifer Aniston. We’re glad people were finally able to see the actress past her wonderful–yet very much finished–role as Rachel Green.