On the occasion of the reunion episode “Friends The Reunion”, posted yesterday on Salto, the creators of the series as well as the 6 actors returned to the highlights of the sitcom. Discover the most surprising revelations …
Seventeen years after the end of Friends, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc created the event by meeting for a special, available since yesterday morning on Salto, in order to come back to the highlights of the sitcom.
Entitled Friends The Reunion, this nostalgic episode allowed us to learn more about this iconic series. A brief overview of the most surprising revelations.
Those who fell in love at first sight
One of the major revelations of this exceptional show will remain that of Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer. The two actors told James Corden that they had feelings for each other while filming the first seasons.
A relationship that unfortunately never saw the light of day in real life. These are the feelings that probably allowed the comedians to have such chemistry on the screen and to make the Ross / Rachel couple iconic.
The one who had an accident on the set
Friends The Reunion has finally lifted the veil on the circumstances of Matt LeBlanc’s injury during season 3 of the series. Remember, for several episodes Joey’s character had his arm in a sling after having a bad fall.
Little flashback: we are in episode 2 entitled “The one who struggles to prepare”. Joey, in the middle of an argument with Chandler, throws himself on the white armchair in Monica’s apartment to prevent his best friend from settling there.
It was during one of the takes, the unedited footage shown on the show, that Matt LeBlanc dislocated his shoulder after having a bad fall. This injury forced the production to stop filming until the actor got to the hospital for treatment.
The writers managed to fit the scarf into the script, but filming of this particular episode was only able to resume after Matt LeBlanc’s arm healed. “What started out as the easiest episode turned out ended up being the one that took the longest,” explained producer Kevin Bright.
Those who stayed together thanks to the public
The creators of Friends told the special episode that Monica and Chandler are not meant to last. “ATAt the start, we had planned that they would sleep together in London and that it would not last”Confides David Crane, co-creator of the series.
But when the writers saw the audience reaction as Monica pops her head out from under the quilt in Ross’s wedding episode, they realized they had to look into the future of this relationship.
Luckily, this episode was the finale of Season 4, which gave teams time to rework the story. What was originally intended to be just a one-night stand, turned into a relationship that made many viewers dream (and which above all made it possible to have the legendary episode “The one who discovers everything”).
The one who hid cheat sheets
The actors used all the stratagems to remember their lines on the film set. As Matt Leblanc wanders through Monica’s meticulously recreated kitchen for the occasion, he remembers the time he saw Courteney Cox write one of her lines on the table.
Asked about the subject, the young woman then replied “Mind your own business”. To play a prank on her, he said he erased the words she had scribbled. And it seems that this is not the only place where we could find scripts since she also hid some in the sink and in the apples placed in the middle of the kitchen table.
The one who had a grudge against Marcel
Asked by a fan present in the audience what they liked least about the series, it was Marcel, Ross’s monkey, who immediately came to the minds of the actors. And the one who seems to harbor the most enduring grudge is none other than David Schwimmer.
“The monkey was not doing its job properly,” he explains. Even if Marcel was a trained Capuchin, Ross’s interpreter specifies that he was educated to follow benchmarks. But as soon as these benchmarks were upset for one reason or another, the monkey was wrong, forcing everyone to start the scene again.
To make matters worse, David Schwimmer explains that between takes Marcel was fed on live worms while he was sitting on his shoulder. Memories not necessarily very happy for the actor who concludes his anecdote by “it was time for Marcel to … get the hell out of it!”.
The one who was supposed to play Rachel
The casting process was very long for the creators of the series. They had the heavy responsibility of finding 6 actors who match the characters and who also have great chemistry. They explain in the show Friends The Reunion that they have seen thousands of actors for each role and that the cast could have been totally different.
Thus, Courteney Cox was originally to play Rachel. The actress however explained to the creators that she does not see herself in this role but rather in that of Monica. “And she was right,” explains Marta Kauffman. “Courteney brought a lot of joy to the character. She managed to enrich Monica ”.
The one who inspired Janice’s laughter
Maggie Wheeler, who played Janice, said she created her character’s iconic laugh thanks to Matthew Perry. She found the actor so funny that she knew she would end up laughing without doing it on purpose which would have ruined the take. This is where he got the idea of that particular laugh that marked an entire generation. A good way to laugh at jokes without affecting the shoot.
The one who could have ended up as a porter of the future
At the time of the auditions for the role of Chandler, Martha Kauffman explains that they fell in love with Matthew Perry straight away. “When Matthew read the lines, it sparked. We knew he was the one we wanted ”.
Unfortunately at that point, the actor was already engaged in yet another sitcom about future baggage handlers called LAX 2194. Luckily, the show didn’t come to fruition and the producers were able to get Matthew Perry to camp Chandler.
The one who had to beg to play Rachel
Just like Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston was also already engaged on a series at the time of the casting of Friends. The creators being sure to have found the rare pearl to play Rachel, they made the bet to turn the pilot with her without knowing if she could make the sequel.
Luckily, CBS chose to ditch the Muddling Through series, which allowed Jennifer Aniston to play Rachel. The actress also explained that she loved Friends so much that she went to see the producers of the other series so that they release her from her contract. Their response: “This series will not make you a star” …
The one who had a tailor-made role
Ross’s character was tailor-made for David Schwimmer. David Crane and Marta Kauffman had indeed met the actor during an audition for another pilot and “his air of beaten dog” had marked them.
But when they wanted to contact the actor, he explained to them that, following a bad experience, he never wanted to shoot in a series again and that he would now devote himself to the theater. They sent him packed baskets, along with the script, and promised him this experience would be different. He ended up accepting.
The one with an almost twin brother
The producer of the series, Kevin Bright revealed in Friends The Reunion that the role of Joey was played between two actors: Matt LeBlanc (who also explained that he injured his nose just hours before the audition) and Louis Mandylor.
His name may not mean much to you, but his face will surely have marked you if you are a die-hard fan of the series. Indeed, it is he who plays Carl, an actor hired by Joey to pass himself off as his twin brother in order to be able to participate in a medical experiment in episode 17 of season 6.
Those who almost didn’t end up together
Friends co-creator David Crane shared that while writing the final season, the writers weren’t sure they wanted Ross and Rachel to end up together. However, they quickly changed their minds: “people have been waiting for 10 years for them to get into a relationship. We have to make them happy, but in the right way, by surprising them. ”
Those who stole things
As in many other series, the actors of Friends left with objects belonging to the sets of the series. Courteney Cox noticed, in the kitchen rebuilt for the event, that Monica’s cookie box was different, the original having been stolen by Lisa Kudrow. Jennifer Aniston said she picked up a mug and Matt LeBlanc stole a ball from Joey and Chandler’s foosball table.
The one who worried
On a much darker note, Matthew Perry revealed to his former comrades that he often felt like he was dying if audiences didn’t laugh at jokes on recording nights. “It’s not healthy for sure, but if I said a line and they didn’t laugh, I would sweat and have seizures… I would panic.”
A confession all the more touching that the actor revealed a few years ago to have fought against an addiction to alcohol and painkillers on the set of the series.
Friends The Reunion can be found now on Salto. The episode will soon be broadcast in prime time on TF1.