Jennifer Aniston’s ex was “dying inside” during their iconic appearance on the legendary NBC television series Friends.
Tate Donovan, who dated Aniston from 1995 through 1998, guest-starred on the comedy for a six-episode arc in 1994 playing Joshua Burgin, revealed in a new interview just how difficult it was to work alongside Aniston at the time.
In the series of episodes, Rachel gets a new job: personal shopper for big spending clients at Bloomingdales; one of them, Joshua Bergen, with whom she began a relationship.
Aniston and Donovan had just broken off their engagement when the actor scored the high-profile gig.
Donovan remarked in an interview with Us Weekly, “I was just happy to be on the team. The only bummer was Jennifer and I were breaking up at the time.”
“And so that was tricky to sort of act, and act like we are just meeting each other, and falling in love, or whatever, interested in each other when we’re sort of breaking up. That was just tough,” he revealed.
“It was just six episodes. I mean, only because we were breaking up. We were like, ‘Hey, can we not keep doing this? ‘Cause this is really painful and tough,'” he recalls of his and Aniston’s feelings about working together at the time.
“The people that know that we dated think that we met on Friends. But in fact, we had dated for two years before then, and it was over by the time we were on Friends together,” Donovan concluded.
Despite the feelings of awkwardness between himself and his ex, Donovan recalls fondly his time on the NBC comedy series.
He recalled he felt very welcome by Aniston and her co-stars, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc.
Donovan called the group of actors “amazing and fantastic.”
He also noted that the group was “compassionate” about his and Aniston’s breakup.
“It was sort of like I proved that, hey, I guess I’m a pro. If you can go through a tough breakup, and still do your job, then you’re a pro. It was good. It was really ultimately a great experience of how people can treat you really well, and you still do your job even though you’re sort of dying inside,” he remarked.
Donovan, an accomplished actor, notably starred in Argo and The Shooter. He is currently the star of Blood Fest, a film which features Donovan as a man who seeks revenge for his wife’s death at the hands of a homicidal maniac.