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Jennifer Aniston and Quinta Brunson Reflect on Sitcom Stardom, Loss and More: ‘The Greatest Gift’

The two comedy stars joined each other for Variety’s ‘Actors on Actors’ series

On June 6, two queens of the sitcom world, Jennifer Aniston and Quinta Brunson, came together under one roof in a miraculous meeting of the minds for a Variety “Actors on Actors” interview.

Brunson is known for her work as the mastermind and leading lady behind the hit mockumentary-style comedy, Abbott Elementary. Aniston, on the other hand, is recognized by most for her role as Rachel Green in the 90s hit Friends.

Both Hollywood starlets are leading busy lives these days: Brunson and Aniston both find themselves in the third season of their current projects, Abbott Elementary and The Morning Show, respectively.

The duo sat down and talked about ensemble casts, Friends turning 30 and more.

Quinta Brunson found inspiration in ‘Friends’

The Abbott Elementary actress shared with Aniston that the set for Abbott’s facade is across from the Friends couch, “So that’s just a really nice thing that we get to see and remind us why we love comedy so much,” Brunson said.

Brunson went on to tell the Friends actress that it was through the 90s hit show where she learned about the beauty of an ensemble, and also looked to for inspiration when it came to the romantic chemistry between her character Janine and Tyler James Williams’ Gregory, citing how Aniston and co-star David Schwimmer “mastered the ‘will-they-won’t-they.’”

“I think that’s what was so inspiring to me, that you really stood on your own as a comedic character. And as I’ve berated you with compliments in the past: You’re just so funny. And then David Schwimmer is his own funny entity. And I thought that’s what was most important for this ensemble comedy. We have no real straight man in our show,” said Brunson.

Jennifer Aniston got emotional talking aboutFriends’ turning 30

“The Pilot” (1994) (Friends Seasons)
“The Pilot” (1994) Bros

“It’s so strange to even think that it’s 30 years old. Because I remember the day that it was going to premiere on television, on NBC,” Aniston recalled as she and Brunson pivoted to Friends.

The 55-year-old actress reminisced on that particular day, remembering how she and Matthew Perry snuck up on Lisa Kudrow in the midst of her hair appointment, with Aniston taking over the nozzle to wash her hair.

“It definitely flew out of control, and that was unfortunate. But the excitement we had, it feels like yesterday.”

She continued, “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. And we see each other. I talked on FaceTime with Court (Courteney Cox) last night for an hour, and Lisa and the boys, and we just have a really — it’s a family forever.”

Will fans see Jennifer Aniston on an episode of ‘Abbott Elementary’?

Abbott viewers were in for a shock when actor Bradley Cooper, a proud Pennsylvania native, made a cameo in a recent episode. And Cooper isn’t the only one interested in making an appearance on the hit series.

“And while we’re here, I’m going to put my hat in the ring like all the other actors do,” Aniston said. “…Because if Bradley Cooper can do it…If you find a moment on Abbott that you can see for this one, I’d love to come play with you.”

A dream come true!

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