Courteney Cox Celebrates Friends' 20th Anniversary, Got Engaged at Jennifer Aniston's House

Actress discusses her NBC show and vacationing with fiancé Johnny McDaid

By Zach Johnson Sep 23, 2014 12:00 PMTags

"Tonight's the night!" Courteney Cox announced Monday. "Yeah!"

Cox appeared on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! exactly 20 years after NBC's Friends premiered. "It's just a weird coincidence," Jimmy Kimmel said. "Did you watch the show on the air that night when it was on?"

"We did. The whole cast," the actress recalled. "Maybe even [director] Jimmy Burrows and maybe the creators. We did it every single Thursday for like the first year. And then by the tenth year it was…"

"...It was like enough already?" Kimmel interjected. The cast and crew's viewing parties were mostly held at Cox's house. "I provided some good snacks," she said, no doubt making her character proud.

Jennifer Aniston became famous for "The Rachel" haircut, but "The Monica" never took off. "It kind of bums me out. Why didn't they?" Cox asked. "I mean, we had the same hairdresser! I don't understand...I just kept changing mine. I was like, if you don't like it, then I'll just keep doing it. Nothing ever stuck."

Three weeks before Monday's appearance, Cox reunited with Aniston and Lisa Kudrow for a Friends sketch. "It was wild," she said of reprising her role. Kimmel revealed some fans were upset with her for clapping too many times in reference to the show's theme song, "I'll Be There for You." As he explained, "There are only four claps after, 'Your love life's D.O.A.'" Cox asked, "Did you just do five?" Kimmel clapped four times, so he jokingly asked his pal, "Has counting been a problem for you for a long time?"

"I always thought five would be better," Cox joked. "This is my chance."

"You can't improve the theme song now," Kimmel replied. "It's the theme song!"

Does Cox still get approached about her iconic TV role? "Usually a lot, although sometimes not enough, strangely," the 50-year-old star admitted. "I was just thinking about this the other day. I went to Turks and Caicos—just a beautiful island. I went there after I had gotten engaged [to Johnny McDaid] and it was for my birthday—that big birthday—and it was such a beautiful place. Johnny and I were there and we were having the best time, except after four days, you're like, 'It's kind of really quiet here.' There's no wind chimes. There's no music. I mean, it is quiet. No crickets. Nothing! You look at each other and it's just gorgeous, but then after like four days, you're like, 'OK, maybe I should make some friends.'"

Cox tried to befriend people to no avail. "I could not make a friend! I tried so hard! It must've been my hair," she joked. "No one wanted to talk to me so it was really bad. I was like, 'Gosh! Monica! Friends!' Nothing!" On the last day, she said, "Someone swam up to me and said, 'I just want to say I'm a big fan of Friends. Can I get a picture?' I'm like, 'Are you kidding? A picture! We're eating lunch together!'"

The Cougar Town star also opened up about McDaid's proposal that preceeded the trip.

"Johnny first asked [my daughter] Coco. He said, 'I'd like to marry your mom,' and gave her a little diamond ring. She said, 'Great, I'm going to camp tomorrow. Let's do it right now.' So, they decided they wanted to do it that night because we were leaving for Turks and Caicos and she was going to camp," the actress explained. "We went to Jen's house for dinner because it was Coco's birthday and she was godmom. They made a plan to count down from three and when they got to one, he was gonna get down on his knee and say, 'Will you marry me?' and she was gonna say, 'Will you marry him?' They planned it out. They found the perfect tree that branches that led to one trunk. It was just beautiful."

"We went to Jen's house. No one knew this was going to happen because it was just a dinner for, essentially, me and Coco. Coco got a little bored, as she does, and right after we were at the bar having a drink, she said, 'Three!' Johnny's like, 'No, not now!' So she's like, 'All right," she recalled. "So, then we go to dinner and there's a salad course or whatever and she's like, 'Oh, my God!' and hits the salad glass, 'Three!' She kept jumping the gun. Finally she waited until after dinner. She was literally about to fall asleep."

Kimmel pointed out that Cox is a few years older than McDaid, 38. The Celebrity Name Game producer didn't deny that the Snow Patrol musician is "young," but she noted that the world of rock 'n' roll has "changed." To prove her point, she admitted that she was once worried about looking like someone's "grandma" during one of the band's concerts at New York City's Madison Square Garden. However, the actress was relieved after she went backstage and saw lead singer Gary Lightbody "stretching" and "doing some yoga." The actress added, "This one's drinking green tea. They're all just nice people."

"I was literally the one with the shortest skirt," Cox said. "I thought, 'Wow.'"