Tate Donovan Says He Was “Dying Inside” While Filming ‘Friends’ With Ex-Fiancé, Jen Aniston


Seeing an ex out and about is never easy, but for those working in Hollywood, the crossover is a lot more common than they’d likely care for. In the case of Tate Donovan, working alongside ex-girlfriend Jennifer Aniston while guest-starring on Friendswas nothing short of hell. 

Speaking to Us Weekly, the actor revealed that he was “dying inside” as they filmed each scene and described the whole thing as “really tough”.

While people often presume the pair met while filming the show, Donovan explained that they’d already dated for two years prior, and by the time the cameras started rolling on set, their real-life relationship had already fallen apart. 

“Jennifer and I were breaking up at the time,” he explained. 

“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.”


In the show, Donovan took on the role of Joshua (pronounced Joshwa, by Aniston’s character)—a recently divorced businessman whom Rachel Green was hellbent on wooing. Unfortunately, she ended up coming on way too strong and scaring him away, but it was certainly amusing for everyone else to watch. 

“It was just six episodes,” Donovan reflected, of how long he actually spent on the show. “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.'”

Still, in spite of the heartbreak, the actor looks back at his time spent on the iconic show fondly. 

“It was good,” he mused. “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.”


Aniston and Donovan met in 1995 after being introduced by a mutual friend. While the pair hit it off on the first date, Donovan wasn’t keen on entering into another high-profile relationship after previously dating Sandra Bullock. 

Still, their chemistry was undeniable, and the pair soon reconciled. By 1998, they were engaged, but ultimately decided to call it off, though neither has ever really explained why. 

At the time, the pair were very much in love, with Aniston telling PEOPLE that Donovan was the “perfect guy,” describing him as “so real, so honest, so funny, so kind, and considerate.” 

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