The NBC sitcom Friends, which aired for 10 seasons, dominated prime time and became a pop culture sensation though the ’90s and beyond. After nearly two decades, the show’s iconic cast has finally reunited. The new special, called Friends: The Reunion, is now available to stream on HBO Max.
Directed by Ben Winston, the special sees cast members Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc return to the original soundstage at Warner Bros. Studios, where they talk candidly and nostalgically with host James Corden about their experiences filming the comedy show that turned them all into household names. Among the intimate details revealed by the actors was the budding fling between Aniston and Schwimmer. “We just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel,” Aniston shares in the special.
To join in on the nostalgia, scroll on to see the evolution of the show’s beloved stars, from their first days on the series to what they’ve been up to since their breakthroughs on the show.
Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green)
Jennifer Aniston rose to fame for her performance as Rachel Green, the Long Island princess-turned-corporate professional and the show’s leading “heroine,” for which she won both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe. She’s since starred in an array of other projects, including 2019’s Murder Mystery and 2018’s Dumplin’, and is said to be currently filming Season 2 of The Morning Show on Apple TV+, as well as Murder Mystery 2, in which she reunites with fellow costar Adam Sandler. Other announced projects include First Lady, Significant Others, and Hail Mary, all of whose official release dates are yet to be announced.
Courteney Cox (Monica Geller)
Played by Courteney Cox, the bubbly, energetic, and occasionally neurotic Monica Geller added an exciting dynamic to the group on Friends. Since then, the actress has starred in her own show, Cougar Town, which streamed for six seasons on ABC, then TBS. She’s also made appearances on Shameless and Modern Family, as well as Comedy Central’s YouTube series, Drunk History. Most recently, she took part in the television program, 9 Months with Courteney Cox, as well as the American documentary film, You Cannot Kill David Arquette. She will also reprise her role as Gale Weathers in the new installment of the Scream franchise, which reportedly is set to release on January 14, 2022.
David Schwimmer (Ross Geller)
Easily loved and hated by many is Rachel’s committed though controversial lover, dinosaur fanatic Ross Geller. Played by David Schwimmer, the paleontologist made a significant imprint on many, although the actor has ventured outside of Central Perk over the years. Having voiced Melman the giraffe in Madagascar in 2005 and appearing on NBC’s Will & Grace revival and in the 2019 film The Laundromat, Schwimmer also starred as Robert Kardashian in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story in 2016, which earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination. Currently, he plays Jerry Bernstein in Canadian sitcom Intelligence, which has streamed on NBC’s Peacock since 2020.
Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing)
Matthew Perry has become appreciated by many for his breakthrough role as the show’s deadpan-sarcastic, noncommittal “nerd” of the group, Chandler Bing. The actor has since starred as old Mike O’Donnell in the 2019 film 17 Again and appeared in The Kennedys After Camelot, The Odd Couple, Go On, and Mr. Sunshine. Though Perry has openly struggled with alcoholism following the sharp initial rise to fame and has taken breaks from acting, he currently plays lawyer Mike Kresteva in CBS All-Access’s The Good Wife spin-off, The Good Fight, which has streamed since 2017.
Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay)
“Smelly Cat” composer Phoebe Buffay, played by Lisa Kudrow, is an endearing favorite among many longtime watchers for her wisdom, wit, and quirky Bohemian style. Kudrow has since become a prolific actress and producer, starring in her own Showtime series, Web Therapy, which earned her an Emmy nomination and included a guest appearance from Friends costar Matt LeBlanc. In addition to movies such as Neighbors,Easy A, and The Girl on the Train, the actress has since appeared in numerous films within recent years, including Booksmart, Long Shot, Like a Boss, and Death to 2020. She also voice-acted as Wanda Pierce on the Netflix Original cartoon comedy BoJack Horseman and will be offering her voice in her role as Janice Templeton for the upcoming animated film, The Boss Baby: Family Business, which is set to release on July 2.
Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani)
Italian womanizer and aspiring actor Joey Tribbiani is remembered for his endearing loyalty. Matt LeBlanc reprised his role in NBC’s Friends spin-off, Joey, which follows his character in Los Angeles in his pursuit of becoming a star. He’s since served as cohost and presenter for the British show Top Gear, and in 2012, won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy or Musical Television Series, as well as four Primetime Emmy nominations for his role as himself on Episodes, which ran from 2011 to 2017. Most recently, he took part in the CBS sitcom Man with a Plan from 2016 to 2020, on which he played Adam Burns.
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