The main couple of the series were to be Monica and Joey. And Chandler was conceived as gay at all. There are even more surprising facts about your favorite TV show in our post.
- Best friends invented a TV series about friendship
Series creators David Crane and Martha Kauffman attended the same university. Later they worked together and founded a production company.
At the end of 1993, they got the idea to shoot a series about friends who gather in a cafe in the evenings. They submitted the idea to Warner Brothers Television’s management, tentatively titled “Café Insomnia.” And they were immediately approved. In the process of writing the script for the pilot episode, the title changed several times: “Friends like us”, “Six Singles”. And only in the summer of 1994, just before the start of filming, the sitcom was finally renamed “Friends”.
- David Schwimmer got the role without audition
Actually, the role of Ross Geller was written for him. The rest of the participants of the magnificent six had to go through a multilevel selection. More than a thousand candidates applied for each of the five positions. Of these, only 75 were selected for listening. Having narrowed the list to four candidates for a seat, the creators presented them to the leadership of the NBC channel.
- Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston switch characters
At the selection stage, the producers offered Courtney Cox to play Rachel. But after reading the script, the actress decided that Monica’s character was closer to her. And she was right.
The role of Phoebe could have gone to Ellen DeGeneres, if she did not refuse the offer.
Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey, was cast after six auditions. The actor was in complete despair: at the time of signing the contract, only $ 11 remained in his pocket. Jon Favreau and John Cryer were considered for the role of Chandler. The first then appeared in the third season in the role of Monica’s lover – millionaire Pete Becker.
- Barista Gunther came for only a few episodes, but was delayed for 10 years
Remember the silent bartender at Central Perk? He was played by James Michael Tyler, and he got his role quite by accident. A man was needed who could use a coffee machine, and an assistant director offered this role to a theater actor who often moonlighted in Los Angeles coffee shops.
For the first year and a half, Gunther’s job was simply to silently bring coffee. He made his first line only in the second season.
By the way, James was not at all blond. Right before filming, his hair was bleached by a friend who trained as a hairdresser and practiced his skills on him. The producers liked the image so much that the actor had to dye his hair every week.
- The plot of the story has been rewritten more than once
The series did not initially feature an affair between Rachel and Ross. The main couple were supposed to be Joey and Monica, as the creators seemed to be the sexiest. Phoebe and Chandler were conceived as supporting actors. The latter had to become gay at all.
- Some actors were much older than their characters.
According to the script, the friends were young New Yorkers in their twenties who had just graduated from college. In fact, at the time of filming the first season, Courteney Cox was 30 years old, and Lisa Kudrow was 31. The youngest on the set were Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry – they were 25 years old. Whereas David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc turned 27.
When filming had already begun, the channel management wanted to make the characters older, and move the meeting place from the cafe to the diner. Fortunately, the producers managed to defend the original version.
- The cast traveled to Las Vegas before filming.
Before filming the first episode, director James Burroughs sent “friends” to Las Vegas to air out and enjoy the last moments of anonymity. He was confident that the show was going to be a hit, so he told the little-known actors, “Once the show hits the screens, you can’t go anywhere without harassing your fans.”
Later, in Season 5, they will return to the same hotel to film Ross and Rachel’s wedding.
- All episodes with the actors were filmed in the studio.
According to the script, the main action of the series takes place in New York. At the same time, not a single frame with the participation of the heroes was filmed there. All filming took place at the Warner Brothers pavilions in California. The famous fountain featured in the series’ intro was also located on the studio grounds.
If you are interested in seeing the building that the main characters allegedly lived in, you can find it in New York at 90 Bedford Street in Greenwich Village.
- The laughs are real
The sitcom was filmed in front of nearly three hundred people. Still, the key episodes were filmed in an empty auditorium to keep the intrigue.
- During the filming, the actors became real friends.
The on-screen friendship of the main characters has grown into a real one. During the work on the series, there was never any friction or serious disagreement within the team. Moreover, the guys had a tradition of having group hugs before filming, as sports teams usually do before a big game.
After the end of the series, the actors actively communicate with each other and take part in each other’s projects. Jennifer Aniston became the godmother of Courteney Cox’s child.
- One of the “friends” has never been nominated for an Emmy.
Over the 10 years of its existence, the sitcom has been nominated for prestigious film awards more than two hundred times, on its account 69 different victories. All of the actors, except Courteney Cox, have been nominated for an Emmy, the television equivalent of an Oscar, at one time or another. Of the six winged statuettes received, the actors got only two: Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow.
- Bruce Willis starred in the series for free
The series featured a large number of guest stars, including Bruce Willis, Julia Roberts, Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Denis DeVito and others. And during the filming of the episode in the UK, the real Duchess Sarah Ferguson and the millionaire Richard Branson got into the frame.
Interestingly, Bruce Willis did not receive a cent for the shooting. He argued with Matthew Perry, with whom he starred in the movie “Nine Yards,” and gave the royalties to charity. By the way, Perry is still a debater. He once lost a bet to Courtney Cox and was her personal slave for several weeks.
- The series “Friends” brought the main characters $ 100 million
According to experts, this is how much each actor earned in 10 seasons. Interestingly, they received only $ 22 thousand for participating in the pilot episode, but by 2002 this amount had increased to $ 1 million per episode. Of course, not with the goodwill of the producers, but after lengthy negotiations and threats to go on strike.
None of the actors claimed better terms. “From the very beginning, we agreed not to hide anything from each other, because we were good together. We are actually friends,” Jennifer Aniston once admitted.
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