ByVaria Fedko-Blake, writer at
Staff Writer at Moviepilot! [email protected] Twitter: @vfedkoblake
Varia Fedko-Blake

Everyone's favorite barista Gunther, wonderfully played by actor James Michael Tyler, was a permanent fixture on our TV screens back in the 90s. And today, it's hard to believe that it's been a staggering 11 years since we bid farewell to the manager of Central Perk and the quirky group of friends that hung out in his cafe.

But have you ever wondered what Gunther looks like now, and most importantly, whether he's held on to his full lid of peroxide-blonde hair?

Before we decipher that, let's relive some his best moments from Friends:

This week, James Michael Tyler arrived in London to launch a brand new Friends-themed experience that we had no idea was missing from our lives until now.

Based in London's Brick Lane, Comedy Central's FriendsFest will allow loyal fans to have a look around Monica's apartment, read Joey's Days of Our Lives scripts and even throw some shapes outside of the iconic New York fountain. Oh, and most importantly, visitors can slurp on a coffee at a make-shift recreation of the legendary Central Perk orange sofa.

And James Michael Tyler was there to open the whole event and to speak about the infamous role that brought him global fame! In an interview about the new attraction, the 53-year-old actor claimed that he can't escape the character of Gunther. He said:

A year ago we had a similar event in New York with a pop-up Central Perk, and at that point I thought I was officially retiring Gunther so I made a big speech. I should have known there'd be another reason to have a Friends celebration. I should have never retired him.

And when the topic of conversation naturally turned to his iconic platinum blonde locks, he revealed:

The thing is I do not live my normal life with Gunther hair [...] A week ago I had a big beard and dark hair which is my normal appearance when we're not doing an event like this. I used to bleach it myself, I did it for ten years. I went to a salon yesterday but they couldn't find any bleach because people don't do this to their hair any more.

What? Gunther doesn't actually have Gunther hair!? Upon having a quick sweep of the interwebz, I found that indeed, James did not sport the barista's look in real life. In fact, he looks like this (i.e. like a completely normal human being):

But thankfully, to recreate his most famous on-screen persona, he gladly returned to his blonde roots by dousing his brown locks with a generous amount of hair bleach. Hooray!

Here he is at the FriendsFest experience, looking like his old self:

We love you Gunther, never change!



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