Poor Jennifer Aniston. She's doing a round of interviews to promote her starring role in the new film The Good Girl, but the only thing reporters want to talk about is her TV show, Friends. She could hardly blame us, though. NBC execs have left the door wide open for the hit sitcom to continue after its upcoming ninth season, and even she isn't quite willing to slam it shut. "I think they're allowed to think that [it could go on], because God knows, actors are fickle," she tells TV Guide Online. "But I'm pretty sure it is [the last year]."

With that out of the way, we gave Aniston a break and turned our attention to the day's real order of business: Which of Rachel's guy pals does she think her character should end up with — Ross or Joey? "I really have no idea," the Emmy nominee insists, then offers this outcome with a laugh: "Chandler!"

All right, we can take a hint — Aniston has had enough Friend-ly small talk. We understand. She worked hard on The Good Girl, and it shows. Already, her performance as a woebegone small-town cashier stuck in a dead-end marriage has critics dancing in cineplex aisles. Finally, many suggest, she may have hit upon the vehicle that will turn her from a small-screen celebrity into a big-screen big deal. For her part, she certainly hopes so.

"I get the sense that something's happening, but you never know what that is," says the leading lady of such middling movies as The Object of My Affection, Office Space and last year's Rock Star. "But I'm [still] just thankful to get a job. I'm not at a point where I can just wave my hand and get one."

In fact, Mrs. Brad Pitt had to fight to get cast in The Good Girl. She "wasn't the first person to come to mind" to play downtrodden heroine Justine Last, admits screenwriter Mike White (Chuck & Buck). "But who wouldn't want to see America's sweetheart get blackmailed for sex and cheat on her boyfriend? It just felt like a fresher choice."

Tired of playing variations on Rachel, Aniston says that accepting the job once it was offered was a no-brainer. "I was frustrated and feeling a bit stuck as an actor. I kind of put it out there in my mind that I really wanted — I needed — to do something [different]. If I wanted to do this for a long time — which is what I'm hoping to do — I can't be put up on a shelf with a label on my head. I needed to prove to myself that I could do something other than sell coffee at a coffee shop.

"This is what is exciting for me, to get to do something like this and see if it's possible," continues the leading lady, who'll be seen next as Jim Carrey's significant other in Bruce Almighty. "Otherwise, I'll just do another television show."

Aniston in another TV show?! Stop the presses — she can't drop a bombshell like that and not expect to get asked at least one more Friends question: Should she one day headline her own series, is it safe to say that it wouldn't be a Friends spinoff? "That is safe to say," she replies, smiling graciously. "Or the movie in 20 years. That won't happen."