If you asked the fans, FRIENDS is not only a sitcom, it’s an emotion. For ten whole seasons, the show gave us numerous episodes filled with laughter, love and warmth. And even after it being 15+ years since the show came to a conclusion; people watch it still and love and enjoy Friends.
But the show wasn’t always all about sunshine and rainbows. On many occasions, there were incidents that left the audiences gobsmacked on what went on behind the scenes of their beloved show.
The cast of 6 friends became the best of friends on and off the camera; but real life drama did not evade them either. Here are 10 such instances from behind the scenes from the hit sitcom FRIENDS.
Rachel Could Have Been Someone Else
Because of schedule problems, Jennifer Aniston almost did not get cast as Rachel. When the show was about to start filming, Jennifer was technically unavailable, as she was shooting for another show called Muddling Through. Something similar happened during the last season as well, and Aniston almost did not return for the final season of the show. Aniston was the actor initially chosen to play Rachel, but because of her unavailability the management almost brought in another actress to play Rachel Green during that first season. Thankfully, the actor and the production team managed to resolve scheduling conflicts; and we got Jennifer Aniston as Rachel.
Matthew Perry Struggled With Addiction
Matthey Perry’s addiction problem was not unknown to people – whether it was during the time the show was on air, or after its conclusion. Fans definitely would have noticed how Perry seemed to be losing or going weight during consecutive seasons; and the reason was his addiction and substance abuse problems. He also admitted that sometimes these made him forget lines during filming, even though he never used while he was on set. He even checked into rehab twice while they were still filming for the show.
The Rest of the Cast was Intimidated by Courtney Cox
When the show was first cast, Courtney Cox was the only member of the six friends who had already made a name for herself in the industry by then. Naturally, it led to the others feeling a little intimidated by the actress and her presence on set. But it was Courtney herself who brought the whole cast together. They were already made to stay and spend time together as cast mates by the management before the filming began. But Matthey Perry during one of his interviews also said that Cox on their second day of work told the other five that they should act as an ensemble and have each other’s back if they wanted to have a successful show.
Matt LeBlanc Started Smoking Again During the Show’s Final Episodes
Matt LeBlanc when the show started was a complete nobody. And if rumours were true, he was the one who needed this show to work the most. The show saved his career, so it was understandable that when it was about to end, he felt a little apprehensive of the changes about to come. The show gave him everything – Joey and LeBlanc became household names because of Friends. And he became so upset while filming the last season – that after four years he started smoking again. He had left his smoking days behind after a long stint, but during the last few weeks he picked it back up.
The Lesbian Wedding Was Concerning For The Management
NBC’s Friends was one of the few shows that could be said to be ahead of its time. It was unheard of back then to have characters from the LGBTQ+ section of the society to be assimilated into mainstream TV so seamlessly. But the characters of Carol and Susan, and their relationship was easily brought into the show’s story. When Carol and Susan got married, NBC were almost sure they would be getting a lot of hate mail. Thankfully, that did not happen! But they did get some complaints via four phone calls.
The Cast Hated the Rachel-Joey Romance
The romance between Rachel and Joey came as a shock not just to the fans, but apparently to the cast as well. While with the audiences it got somewhat mixed reactions, the cast were completely against it. Matt LeBlanc once said that he thought the relationship between these two characters felt “wildly inappropriate”. Ross and Rachel were the ‘lobsters’ and the whole cast though that having a relationship between Rachel and Joey would only do a disservice to both the characters, as well as the show. The cast went to David Crane and Marta Kauffman together to raise their concerns.
Courtney Cox Struggled With Fertility Issues
We all know how the characters of Monica and Chandler suffered from fertility issues in the show. Monica’s wish to become a mother was finally fulfilled in the last season, when they adopted two children. But what many may not know is that Courtney Cox who played the character of Monica Geller, also suffered from the same issues. She went through several miscarriages while filming. It so happened that when Rachel was giving birth to Emma in Friends, Cox had miscarried again, and the actress shared how terrible it was for her to be funny during the filming while she was going through something so difficult personally.
Jennifer Aniston Was Scared of Matt LeBlanc; While Lisa Kudrow Was Scared of Duck!
Jennifer Aniston before meeting Matt LeBlanc took one look at the actor’s resume and though he would be someone very tough, and hard to work with. She was initially very intimidated by the actor; but easily warmed up to him after finally getting to meet him. Now Aniston considers him as one of her closest friends; and says he can comfort her just like Courtney or Lisa can. Lisa Kudrow on the other hand was terrified of ducks, and having to film scenes with Chick and Duck on the show was quite difficult for her; even though no one could tell with how easily she handled it during filming.
Andre Agassi Smashed Tennis Trophies In Jealousy
The former No. 1 tennis player Andre Agassi smashed a couple of his grand slams in a fit of rage when his then girlfriend – Brooke Shields, played the part of Erika – an obsessive fan of Drake Ramoray. Drake was one of Joey’s biggest roles in the show; where he plays a renowned neurosurgeon and Erika’s character was completely obsessed with him. In one of the scenes she even licked Joey’s fingers, and Agassi went completely bonkers over it. A year later in 1997, Agassi and Shield were married; but the marriage only lasted until 1999.
Salary Negotiation Were Sometimes a Little Heated
The salary negotiation of the cast was quite the drama back in the day. The cast always negotiated their salaries together – which was quite famous during that time. They were and still are one of the very few shows where all the main characters got paid equally. The negotiations started before the third season of the show – when all six cast mates were paid $75,000 per episode; and went up to $1 million per episode during the last two seasons. On David Schwimmer’s idea, the six of them formed a mini union to demand equal pay for all six of the cast mates, The network weren’t too happy paying the actors so much money, and Marta Kauffman was even caught saying that their salaries were ‘ridiculous’.