'Friends' Cast Feeling 'Delicate' Now

01/14/2004 at 06:41 PM EST

The final taping of "Friends" is set for next Friday -- and its stars are feeling a bit breakable these days.

"We're like very delicate china right now, and we're speeding toward a brick wall ... and inevitable pain," Jennifer Aniston, 34, told TV critics Tuesday as she and her five costars discussed how high their emotions are running as they head into next week, Reuters reports.

"And we're going to smash into a million pieces," added Lisa Kudrow, 40. "It's a deeper loss than I was expecting."

Matt LeBlanc, 36, noted that the 10-year-old hit show has occupied "a third of my life." (And will continue to occupy it: LeBlanc will be reprising his role as Joey in an upcoming NBC spinoff planned for next season.)

David Schwimmer, 37, said the show ran so long because the cast members "really liked each other from the beginning. We were very lucky."

Matthew Perry, 34, admitted to a consensus among his fellow actors that "Friends" will be a tough act to follow. "It's a group of people that comes together every week to try and make America laugh. And what better thing is there than that," he said.

Courteney Cox, 39, who revealed last week that she and husband David Arquette are expecting a baby, said she looked forward to motherhood to keep her busy now that the weekly show is wrapping up.

"I think it's good timing for me because I'll have something to put my focus on," she said, disclosing that she is expecting in mid-July.

Though the finale is being kept under tight wraps (there will be no audience for key scenes and only essential crew will be on the set, says Reuters), Schwimmer, who plays Ross, says that the fans will be satisfied with the finish.

"We will end up with a sense of a new beginning, and the audience has a sense that it's a new chapter in all of their lives," he said.

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