Jennifer Aniston has been pretty outspoken about wanting to get past playing Rachel Green on “Friends.”
The character not only made her a star, it also set off an obsession with getting the cast back together for a reunion.
Now, as the hit NBC series celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, Aniston is once again returning to the small screen.
She’s executive producing and starring, along with Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon, in the new Apple drama “The Morning Show.”
A book by CNN’s chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter, was used for background for the series, and he is a consultant for the show.
Aniston plays Alex Levy, a morning show anchor whose co-anchor (played by Carell) is fired for sexual misconduct.
Aniston said the role has everything: “children, guilt, power struggle, being a woman in the industry, going through a divorce, publicly going through a divorce, feeling alienated, being just a little bit of a screw-up,” according to her recent interview with The New York Times,
The actress had been focusing most of her energy on starring in movies since her “Friends” days, but three years ago, she told former HBO executive Michael Ellenberg that “television is not not an option for me,” she said.
“I said to him, ‘I just want to be a part of something great, I don’t care where it lands,’” Aniston said. “Because God knows, the movies have been great and they’ve been horrible, so you just don’t know.”
Since then, the #MeToo movement seen media mavens like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer toppled, something they could not have foreseen when Ellenberg acquired the rights to Stelter’s nonfiction book, “Top of the Morning,” about morning television.
It added an additional layer to the drama, which also deals with heady topics like ageism.
“There’s a similarity to my life,” Aniston said of playing her character.
“I relate in ways of feeling like, when you don’t want to be seen and you don’t want to go out of the house and you want to just scream and you don’t want to walk on a red carpet,” she said. “I don’t want to stand behind a podium, I don’t want to have my photograph taken, I want to just cry today. You know?”