With five days to go until we see the Friends cast reunite on James Burrow's TV special, NBC has finally released an extended clip of the Central Perk crew side by side on the sofa once more. How the cast has changed since the very first interview they did together back in 1994...
As excited as we all are about seeing the gang back together, we mustn't forget that this show is a celebration of James Burrows's (who directed the pilot episode of Friends) brilliant work. David Schwimmer kicks it off by expressing his admiration for the director, describing how "he graciously took me under his wing" when it was David's own turn in the director's chair.
Lisa Kudrow goes on to reveal how the comedy veteran assigned individual nicknames to each member of the cast to help them get into character. Pointing to Courtney and David, she exclaimed:
“You’re Mary from Mary Tyler Moore, you're the hub! You're Reverend Jim!"
Matt LeBlanc was next to pipe up.
"She's right. I remember him saying to me: you're Danza [from Taxi]!"
As the cast continue to chat, we learn that Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox originally auditioned for each other's parts. Jennifer says:
"I was asked to audition for Monica and her Rachel and I think we both just thought the other was better for the other part."
I think we can all agree on that one. Can you imagine if it had been the other way around?!
The footage ends with a hilarious revelation of who had the privilege of auditioning for James himself — and who didn't. Find out for yourself in the full clip below.
Must See TV: An All-Star Tribute to James Burrows, which airs this Sunday February 21st on NBC, will bring together the casts of classic sitcoms Cheers, Frasier, Will & Grace, Taxi, and The Big Bang Theory in honor of James's 1,000th episode of TV. Sadly, Matthew Perry, who is currently starring in The End of Longing in London's West End, couldn't make the recording, but will appear in a pre-taped segment.