On “The Morning Show,” Jennifer Aniston delivers one of the best performances of the TV season as Alex Levy, a morning TV anchor who decides she’s finally ready to fight the sexism that she’s endured throughout her career.
The Apple TV Plus drama escalates to a Season 1 finale cliffhanger, which has Alex coming to terms with her co-host Mitch Kessler’s (Steve Carell) firing over sexual harassment allegations. And eventually, she joins forces with her new co-host, Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon), to stop the chauvinistic network president, Fred Micklen (Tom Irwin), who enabled Mitch to get away with his behavior for so long.
In an interview for Variety‘s Actors on Actors issue, on newsstands this week, Lisa Kudrow asked her former “Friends” co-star Aniston how she prepared for Alex’s breakdown — a tour-de-force moment of acting — on “The Morning Show.”
“It was just a boiling point, and I think it was just all of the years,” Aniston said. “And then Hannah’s death [Gugu Mbatha-Raw] happened, and then all of it kind of boiled and it just exploded, and it happened right when we were on air. I think I did sort of float out of my body and I didn’t give a shit. It was a little bit like, I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore,” Aniston said, referencing the famous line performed by Peter Finch in 1976’s “Network.”
Aniston continued: “I think it’s also something about being this age, and having heard these stories over and over, over the last few years — there is such a rage that we as women are carrying, and hearing what so many women walked through and had to deal with.”
Kudrow asked if Aniston thought Alex had a lot of women friends in her life.
“No, no, no,” Aniston said. “She was in the boys’ club. She reminds me of kind of Shirley MacLaine. It was always hanging out with the Rat Pack. I think she was very determined and she had her family, and her work was No. 1, obviously. Also, when Bradley comes in … it’s such a love/hate. And it really did feel like a love story between two women in a way.
“Women are pretty hard on women, ultimately,” Aniston said. “That’s something that you and I have never experienced, especially when we had the luxury of shooting our show. We were just girlfriends.”
Kudrow told Aniston that she couldn’t get enough of “The Morning Show.” “It’s my favorite show,” Kudrow said. “Watched all of them the minute we could, my husband and I both. We have a hard time finding shows we can both watch together. And then it’s just so well written. It’s about something; it’s so beautifully performed. You blew me away.”
For more from Variety‘s conversation with Aniston and Kudrow, read our full story here.