FRIENDS is one of those iconic shows in which we all probably wish that we’d a chance to be in. Those six characters who brought endlessly quotable catchphrases and their hilarious real-life inspired misadventures are still stuck with us after so many years. Many of us often wonder, what it actually feels like to be in such an iconic sitcom. That is why we have gathered the experience of the actors who were on the show and passed through the Central Perk over the entire show’s run.
Let’s know about their time on the set of FRIENDS while filming for the show:
1. Cole Sprouse – Ben
Cole Sprouse appeared as Ross Geller and his ex-wife, Carol’s son, Ben. He confessed that he felt quite intimidated at that time. He said, “At this point, FRIENDS was a very well-oiled machine. And I was quite young. But I remember all those worries kind of fading away when the cast was so nice.” He continued, “I was schooling on set when I was there and have a lot of interesting memories.” He also revealed that he had a huge crush on Jennifer Aniston, just like the entire world, but he said, “I do remember being quite intimidated around her, because of that. I remember blanking on my lines and having a kind of stage fright when she sat next to me on the couch in one episode.”
He further added, “And I remember there was a cameraman who was like, ‘Little boy’s got a crush,’ or I forget what they said. Of course, I turned bright red. But I do remember feeling like I fell in love.” However, the favorite episode of Sprouse was when Ross dressed as the “holiday armadillo”. He said, “I was infatuated with the costumes and the practical effects that they had. That was probably my most memorable thing to shoot.”
2. Christine Taylor – Bonnie
Christine Taylor was Phoebe’s free-spirited friend, Bonnie. She also dated Ross for a while which ended with 18 pages letter of Rachel to Ross, back, and front. She recalled, “I got the call saying, ‘Hey, do you wanna do an arc on “Friends”? I said, ‘Absolutely, hands down.’ I don’t even need to read it. Just yes, yes, yes, of course.”
When she comes to know about her role, she was like “Couldn’t I have gotten one where I was clothed and with hair?” She added, “To their credit, Jennifer, Courteney, Lisa, they’re like, ‘You look so beautiful bald.’ I was like, ‘I look like an alien.’” However, she admits that she had a lot of fun while filming and the cast could not have been kinder. She also loves the fact that the new generation is also loving the show and they are recognizing her as well. And the most frequent question she gets from kids was, “Did you really shave your head? No, I didn’t.”
3. Michael Rapaport – Gary
Michael Rapaport played Phoebe Buffay aka Lisa Kudrow’s cop boyfriend, Gary. He revealed that the cast members were very welcoming and his time at the Central Perk was nothing but amazing. During an interview with US Weekly, he said, “They were all very nice. They were all very great to me. I was just impressed.” He further added, “They are very, very, very good comedic actors.”
“When you’re making $1 million dollars a week, it tends to put you in a good mood. I was just happy to be there. It was dope being there”, he said. He also revealed that out of all the main cast, David Schwimmer aka Ross Geller was the one who kept in touch with him even after his cameo was ended on the show.
4. Mitchell Whitfield – Barry
Mitchell Whitfield portrayed the character of Rachel’s fiancé, Barry whom she left at the altar. To which he joked, “If Rachel didn’t leave me at the altar, can I say there would be no show?” He said, “People still stop me about FRIENDS and Barry. Like, ‘Oh, you’re the jerk on ‘Friends.’ I didn’t think he was that bad of a guy. But let’s just call him misunderstood and still looking for love in all the wrong places.” If you don’t know, Whitfield was considered for David Schwimmer’s role when David was unavailable. We got to see the chemistry between Mitchell and Jennifer in one intimate scene where they made out on the dentist’s chair.
He said, “It makes me laugh just because there are some great lines there. The writing in that scene was really good. I have guys for years who would ask me, ‘Dude, you kissed Jennifer Aniston. What was that like, dude?’” And his reply was nothing sort of that you might have imagined, “And I was like, ‘Well, imagine kissing someone you know that you’ve known for a long time that you’re just friends with in front of about 200 people when it’s about 120 degrees with a bunch of cameras on you and I think it always ruins it.” He then joked about what they say next, “‘Oh, man. I wanted to hear it was great.’ I was like, ‘OK. It was great.’ You don’t know what to say in those times.”
5. Jane Sibbett – Carol
Jane Sibbett appeared as Ross’s ex-lesbian wife. She was offered the role shortly after giving birth to her off-screen son. She was not physically fit enough to do the show after going through intense labor. But after watching the pilot, she was convinced to accept it. She said, “I saw David Schwimmer do the most incredible take. I’d never seen anybody do comedy like that. He literally took the longest take with his comedy. I just thought, oh my goodness, I have to work with this man. He is brilliant.” She also remembers the time when she was moved by the actor’s performance in the episode “The One With The Candy Hearts”.
She said, “It was the sweetest, sweetest scene and we had to kiss. My eyes welled with tears as we were doing the scene because he was so tender and so loving and just ‘Can we make this work again?’ And he kissed me and the thought that went through my mind is ‘He’s really sweaty right now,’ cause he was so nervous.” She also loved the way viewers took up the love triangle among Ross, Carol, and Susan. However, her favorite moment on the set was when she saw Lisa, Jennifer, and Courteney splashing in a puddle like children and laughing.
6. Christina Applegate – Amy Green
Christina Applegate appeared as Rachel’s self-absorbed sister, Amy. This was the role for which she even won an Emmy in 2003. The actress reveals that her favorite part of the show was when she and Rachel started fighting over the fact that Rachel would not give the custody of Emma to Amy even if Ross and Rachel died. During an interview, she said, “I think my favorite line, though, is when I keep saying Lisa’s (Kudrow) name wrong. And then she goes, ‘Phoebe.’” She added, “That was written as a rewrite in front of the audience, and I thought it was hilarious.”
Christina also admitted that Jennifer had a blast while filming the scenes. She said, “We hung out for a while after that, and I really, really do love her.” However, apart from Jennifer, she ties to the rest of the cast before FRIENDS happened. Her favorite memory on the set was hanging out with the cast. Even she was shocked when she came to know that she was nominated for Emmy because it didn’t feel like work to her. It was so much fun. When asked about what Amy would be doing now, she said that she would be highly successful and childless.
7. Jessica Hecht – Susan
Jessica Hecht portrayed the character of Ross’s ex-wife, Carol’s long-time wife, Susan. She revealed that she had a lot of fun while playing the character. She also said, “I always loved Susan’s line when Ross is looking at the bookshelves and he says, ‘Wow, you got a lot of books about lesbians.’” She continued, “And I think Susan says, ‘Well, they make you read a lot of books. Otherwise, they don’t let you do it.’” She admitted that she loved working with David and praised her on-screen wife, Jane Sibbett.
She said, “She’s so beautiful to act with, and such an amazing person. I do feel like we were successful at not over-characterizing it as anything but a loving relationship.” She further added, “It was just these two women who were in love, who had a balance between the two of them and were so devoted to each other. And I think that was ahead of its time.”
8. Kristin Davis – Erin
Kristin David played the character of a woman, Erin whom Phoebe and Rachel want Joey to date. ‘The Sex and the City’ star recalled, “I remember losing sleep. I was nervous to be the tiny character of Erin.” She added, “partly because of the live audience, but partly because you’re in this world that has been created that is so alive.” She explains her anxiety, “And I remember, like, ‘Will I set that joke up OK? Will Matt (LeBlanc) be happy? Will, I just go blank?’” However, when Kristin reached there, she was struck by the bond among the six characters in which many of whom she already knew.
She said, “I think the thing I remember most was the cohesion between the cast and the fact that they were somewhat besieged by the success from the outer world and they had kind of bonded together as a group.” She added, “It was a lot of fun just to be there, to sit on the couch in the coffee shop.” When asked about her favorite memory on set, she said, “I remember watching Lisa Kudrow especially, because she had this very involved storyline that she wanted to work on, and the way that she worked with the writing staff.” She continued, “Watching Lisa rework her character’s arc or what was happening in that episode was really something that I hadn’t really seen in that way. She really went and reworked it in a way that was amazing.”
9. Lauren Tom – Julie
Lauren Tom appeared as Ross’s girlfriend from China, who arrived when Rachel was about to tell Ross about her feelings. Tom recalls that the audience reaction was “rabid” because they were so invested in the love story of Ross and Rachel. She said, “I wasn’t prepared for the amount of venom I was about to receive in a live audience where they actually booed my character. And, of course, I was trying very hard not to get my feelings hurt. So, I had to get used to that. Even I was rooting for Rachel, on some level, cause I was a fan of the show.”
She also revealed that at the beginning of her career she tried to do some serious roles but is probably most known for her work on FRIENDS. And all the people who come to her wants to know one thing if Ross is a good kisser. To answer it, she said, “He is, by the way.” However, about her favorite memory on set, she said, “I still remember it was my birthday on my first day of rehearsal, and so they all took me out to lunch. It was very, very fancy, and it was so, so sweet of them to welcome me in that way.”
10. Vincent Ventresca – Fun Bobby
Vincent Ventresca was Monica’s on-off beau in the show who turns out to be dull when he stops drinking. He said, “I just remember how the energy on the set was. They felt like they were friends. They were a team. And man, it was really cool to just sort of being in that for one night.” However, when he returned for the second season, the show’s popularity had really blown up. He said, “They were on the cover of Rolling Stone. It was pretty crazy. And I felt like the stakes were higher because we knew so much more about all of those characters and so much more about all of those actors. But they were sort of the same.”
He revealed that his encounters with FRIENDS fans come in two phases. He said, “When the show was on if you were on that show, especially the second year, you were on NBC on Thursday night. I mean, it was a big deal. But that was 25 years ago.” He continued, “But then the show came out on Netflix, and so now all these kids that weren’t even alive 25 years ago. I’ll go to the bagel store or something and they’ll be like, ‘Oh my God, there’s Fun Bobby.’”
When asked about his favorite memory on set, he said, “I was a basketball player when I was younger, and that’s why I liked acting. They kind of made acting like sports again. It was a team. And they played it together and they worked together.” He continued, “Things didn’t always go perfectly when you were taping the show — and they knew it. And they didn’t just gloss over it. They were like, ‘Hey, we can do better.’ And then they literally would, like, huddle up in front of, like, a studio audience.” He further added, “And they’d be like, ‘What if you did this, or what if you did that? And let’s try this.’ And they’d break, and then they’d go and do it.”