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If you thought The Morning Show ended in the most bananas of ways in season one, get ready for an even more insane roller coaster in season two. When I tell Jennifer Aniston that I've already plowed through the first four episodes of the show, which premieres September 17, she says, “Oh, you ain't see nothing yet.” And she's right. Based on a spoiler list sent to press—which, sadly, I had to read to know what not to reveal—the season keeps raising the stakes.
The fictional Morning Show mirrors the real-life one that was taking place behind-the-scenes when production on season two began in early 2020. Just weeks into filming it was shut down due to the pandemic, and storylines were rewritten to incorporate COVID-19. “In the original season two, before the pandemic hit, there was a period where Alex had gone off to an emotional rehab,” Aniston says of her character, veteran news anchor Alex Levy. “After the exposure of [a toxic workplace] on TMS and the abuse of power, she goes away. For the very first time, she takes a break to ask herself, Who the hell am I? And how did I get here? Because The Morning Show was all she really had. It was her purpose.”
While there are still elements of that in the reworked season two, it remains to be seen whether Alex has really done enough work on herself to be able to thrive in this next chapter of her life. She gets a dog, starts to write a memoir, and really embraces life out in nature without the hustle and bustle of New York City. But this is Alex Levy we're talking about, so becoming the next Nancy Meyers isn't quite in her DNA. “It unravels,” Aniston teases of her character's planned hiatus.
Offscreen, things are going well for Aniston herself after a tumultuous year. The actor has a new hair-care line, an Emmy nomination (as an executive producer for the much-loved Friends reunion), and a new wellness routine. So what else is in store for her? Here, ahead of The Morning Show's second season, she fills us in.
Glamour: Alex gets a dog this season. For a minute there, I thought it was one of yours in real life.
Jennifer Aniston: No, but boy, that dog named Benny—I fell so madly in love with this animal. This dog was like a human and a stuffed animal dog. You can do anything with him. His most favorite thing was to lay in a bed and just be rubbed. He'd be waiting to come on set, and you'd find him in a different person's lap. He was like a therapy dog for our crew, which we really needed it at that point. It was so lovely to have that angel dog there.
In an early scene, we see you in the snow chopping wood. I have to say, you were giving Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV a run for his money. Was that you or a stunt double?
It was me. That was during a time when I had a 9-mm bulging disc too. So I basically had two takes in me to get that swing in. And then they had a wonderful stand-in to do some of the big, wider shots.
I’m so sorry you went through that.
Thank you, I know; it was crazy. And then a month and a half after that 9-mm bulging disc that I had to get an epidural for, I was rear-ended on the 405 freeway at rush hour at 55 miles an hour. It was one of those crazy ends to the year. But I'm all healed. Healed, and ready to go.
I’m glad you’re doing better now. And speaking of going through a lot, we learn that Alex is writing a memoir during her time away from The Morning Show. Is that something you would ever want to do—write about your life experiences?
Nope. I say that now, but you know, cut to four or five years from now, and I might be like: “I'm going to write a memoir!” But I'm still living it. I have nothing to memoir about just yet.
I think you have amazing life stories already, but I understand that.
There's a lot when you think about it, but I still feel like I just got here.
Julianna Margulies joins the show this season, and you two have known each other since the days of ER and Friends, which filmed next to each other on the Warner Bros. lot. What was it like to reunite?
She's fabulous. We were little babies together and would walk out and take breaks and stand on these little stoops and chat: “How's it going for you guys?” Mimi Leder, who directs The Morning Show, was one of the directors on ER. I've been wanting to work with Mimi for a long time too, and here we are!
I know season one of TMS was really challenging in terms of the amount of dialogue you had and the heaviness of playing a character like Alex, but even with the pandemic, was there anything easier about season two?
No, because working during a pandemic was very challenging. It was the protocols, the hours in the day you were allowed to shoot, the amount of PPE. People had to go outside just to have a sip of water. We all kept thinking, God, I hope they come out with a vaccine. Gosh, come on, get there already. So there was a lot to navigate.
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram @jessicaradloff14.
Originally Appeared on Glamour