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Jennifer Aniston reveals the special way Nicole Kidman helped her in 'hard' times

The Friends star worked with the Expat actress in 2011

Faye James
Senior Editor
May 30, 2024
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Jennifer Aniston recently opened up about the crucial support she has received from her longtime friend, Nicole Kidman

Reflecting on the significance of female friendships within their industry, the Friends star, 55, revealed how the Oscar-winning actress, 56, has been a pillar of strength during challenging times.

During a roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter alongside Jodie Foster, Brie Larson, Naomi Watts, Ana Sawai, and Sofía Vergara, Jennifer shared a touching memory of Nicole's support while they were filming their 2011 comedy, Just Go With It, in Hawaii.

"When we did that movie in Hawaii, you helped me out on a lot of hard things that I was going through," Jennifer told Nicole. "Just to have that community, it's very helpful." Although Jennifer did not elaborate on what she was experiencing at the time, her gratitude for Nicole's support was evident.

(L-R) Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Aniston are long time friends© Kevin Mazur
(L-R) Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Aniston are long time friends

The conversation highlighted the importance of women supporting each other in an industry that can often be isolating. Jennifer and Brie Larson, 34, bonded over the transformative power of connecting with other women. 

Brie shared how she made a conscious effort to befriend other women in the industry because there was usually just one woman on a job.

"It's so true," Jennifer agreed. "Connecting with other women has been a game-changer for me as an actress."

Nicole has been a great support for Jennifer© Kevin Winter
Nicole has been a great support for Jennifer

The discussion also delved into the emotional toll that certain roles can take on actors. Nicole, who portrayed an abused wife on HBO's Big Little Lies, spoke candidly about the challenges of acting out domestic violence for long hours on set.

"It's very tough on the psyche," Nicole admitted. "But there's a way in which we operate where the show must go on, and so you just keep going — you show up and you do it and do it and do it and do it. And there really isn't the time to go, 'I need to take care of myself.'"

 Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Aniston at the SAG awards© Kevin Mazur
Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Aniston at the SAG awards

Nicole added that after filming Expats, she needed to do a comedy to balance her mental health. Sofía Vergara chimed in, acknowledging the physical impact of intense roles: "The body doesn’t know that what you’re going through isn’t real."

Nicole concluded with the importance of self-care and mutual support: "But the idea of being able to go and get a massage or a hot bath or even a pat on the back, just someone touching you and going, 'It’s OK.'"

Jennifer admitted that Nicole's words brought her to tears, and Nicole reminded her and the other actresses of the vital need to support one another: "The reach out for each other is so important."

Jennifer Aniston (L) and Nicole Kidman pose backstage during the 89th Annual Academy Awards © Christopher Polk
Jennifer Aniston (L) and Nicole Kidman pose backstage during the 89th Annual Academy Awards

Jennifer and Nicole first met at a Golden Globes party in 2005. Recalling their initial encounter, Jennifer told Harper's Bazaar in 2011 that it was a "typical Hollywood story" and that they shared "an agent."

"I remember meeting this tall, beautiful woman who was there with her mom and dad. I was completely starstruck, while she was nothing but gracious," Jennifer said, adding, "I loved her immediately. We've run into each other over the years, keeping in touch. But it was Adam Sandler, of all people, who brought us together in Hawaii to film the comedy Just Go With It."

Their collaboration on the film strengthened their bond, and Jennifer fondly recalled how they became "dear" friends. "I can't see myself dancing the hula with any other gal," she said with a smile.

On set, Jennifer was reminded of Nicole's comedic talent. "I forgot how funny she could be," she admitted. Nicole responded, "I know, you kept saying to me that I was funny, and I was like, Really? I never get asked to do comedy!"

In Just Go With It, Jennifer and Nicole play former sorority sisters and college rivals who face off in a hilarious hula dancing competition while on vacation. Their chemistry on-screen was a testament to their real-life friendship.

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