Real Chemistry, Poker Games, and the "Jennifer Salad": What We Learned from the Friends Reunion Last Night
The Friends reunion we had all been waiting for finally happened Sunday night on the NBC tribute to legendary sitcom director James Burrows. Even though we were down a friend, Matthew Perry, it was still amazing to see the cast reunite including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Lisa Kudrow on the screen for the first time since the show wrapped in 2004 after 10 years on the air. Perry, who's currently starring in a play in London, introduced his "friends who happen to be the cast of Friends" for the Andy Cohen-hosted panel.
For any Friends fans, the night was a revelation as we learned some major secrets about the show. First of all, no, they never had to sign anything saying they wouldn't sleep with another cast member. “I was not asked to sign anything,” Kudrow said with a laugh. Plus, Rachel originally auditioned for Monica. And how did a waitress and a chef who was in and out of work afford that fabulous West Village apartment? "It was inherited!" said Cox. "How did I miss that?" said Cohen. "Rent control," explained LeBlanc.
As for favorite episodes, Aniston "always loved when we would have the flashbacks. I always loved when we would flashback to Fat Monica and Rachel Pre-Nose Job and Ross with his Afro." Cox's favorite was the blackout episode where Ross gets attacked by a feral cat, and LeBlanc really liked the one where Ross got hit in the face with a hockey puck at a Rangers game.
Also, you can thank Burrows, who directed 15 episodes of the series, including the pilot way back in 1994, for that famous poker episode during the first season. He would let the cast play poker in his dressing room to bond. Plus, the Friends cast was years ahead of casts live-tweeting their shows today, as they would often gather to watch each episode together during the beginning of the series to give each other suggestions. It was a tip Cox picked up from her guest spot on Seinfeld.
But one thing that was quite evident during the reunion was that when it came to chemistry among the cast, there was no faking it. "In the beginning, it was not a hard thing," said Aniston. "We really just wanted to hang out with each other. It was not, 'We have to do this.' We really just fell in love and adored each other instantly, and would hang out at each other's houses and watched the show together."
Cox reminisced about how the three women had lunch every day together on set and ate what she called the "Jennifer Salad." "I tossed it," said Aniston. "She had a way with it," said Cox. LeBlanc chimed in, "The guys ate together, too!" After all, they were friends. Aniston added later, "We experienced friendship, family, heartbreak, babies, everything, together. And we also had a wonderful experience with the world loving us as well,' she added. Cue the theme song.
Watch a clip of the Friends reunion in the video above.