Jennifer Aniston said she "could not escape" from being Rachel Green from "Friends" for a long time after starring in the hit NBC sitcom.
In a in which the year's best drama actresses talked about their TV shows and crafts, Aniston spoke about trying to switch from TV comedy to dramatic films.
"You just exhaust yourself. I mean, I could not get Rachel Green off of my back for the life of me," Aniston said. "I could not escape Rachel from 'Friends,' and it's on all the time and you're like, 'Stop playing that f------ 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."
Aniston starred as Justine Last in 2002's "The Good Girl," which followed a store clerk having an affair with a guy, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who thinks he may be the incarnation of Holden Caulfield. The film was liked by critics, with a , and an unsuccesful Oscar campaign was launched in a bid to get Aniston an Academy Award nomination.
"Once you play comedy, they don't think you can do the drama; and if you're only seen as a dramatic actor, they don't think you can do comedy," Aniston said. "They forget that we're actors and we actually have it all in there. It's just about finding it and accessing it and getting the material."
Aniston also starred in 2014's "Cake," an even darker drama following a woman in a chronic pain support group who wrestles with her own tragedy while becoming fascinated by the suicide of someone in the group. Aniston came even closer to an Oscar nomination for this dramatic performance as she became only the 15th person to be nominated for a Golden Globe, Screen Actors' Guild award, and Critics Choice award but miss out on an Oscar nomination.
Appearing alongside Zendaya, Reese Witherspoon, Janelle Monáe, Rose Byrne, and Helena Bonham Carter, Aniston was part of the roundtable for her dramatic role in "The Morning Show," in which she plays a morning television host amidst a scandal with her co-host. Aniston won a Screen Actors Guild award for the role, and is hotly tipped to earn her seventh Emmy nomination, but her first nod for a dramatic role. Her previous nominations were all for comedy — one for "30 Rock" and six for "Friends."
She will soon be heading back into Rachel Green territory, however, with the upcoming and still-postponed "Friends" reunion special, which was delayed due to the coronavirus.