Perhaps the best thing about the 25th anniversary of Friends is the newly-replenished stream of cute on-set anecdotes from the cast. The latest contributor? Paul Rudd, otherwise known as Mike Hannigan, who chatted about his time on the show during an appearance on the U.K.'s Graham Norton Show, as the Independent reports. Specifically, he revisited an awkward encounter with Jennifer Aniston—or, if you'll indulge me, "The One With The Joke That Didn't Quite Land."
Rudd told host Norton that the show was "an incredible thing to be a part of, and the whole experience seemed a bit surreal and a bit of a blur." He explained,"I was only coming on for a couple of episodes, it turned into a few more, but it was nearing the end of the show, which was a phenomenon…" Rudd felt like something of an intruder, he said, after joining Friends relatively late in the show's run.
"I was in the last episode, which made no sense to me whatsoever," Rudd said. And while filming said episode, Rudd saw Aniston overwhelmed with emotion, hugging the show's co-creator Marta Kauffman. "I thought, I’m not supposed to be there," he recalled. "So to break the ice I went over and just went, 'We did it, huh? What a ride.' The joke inevitably fell flat."
Well, here's some small comfort for Rudd. He's pretty unlikely to run into Aniston again—or at least, their paths won't cross on the set of Friends (in fact, they've already appeared in the movie Wanderlust together). Aniston shattered a thousand dreams in a recent interview with Variety, as she explained why a Friends movie is unlikely to ever become a reality. "Our producers wouldn’t want it, wouldn’t let us. Look, it’s not been without our desire to, because our fans have wanted it so much," she said.
Asked if the cast would have agreed to a movie, she added, "It depends. I mean, we haven’t all sat in a room. But would we have loved to have done something together? Yeah. It would have been fun."
"We could have redesigned it for a couple episodes. But whatever. Maybe it’s better this way, but we’ll never know," Aniston concluded. Ignore that unsettling sound in the distance—that's just the anguished wail of Friends devotees around the globe.
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Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.
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