The much-awaited Friends: The Reunion is here and fans around the world are now grabbing a box of tissues as they sit down to watch the reunion special. However, when the trailer was released a few days ago many felt that there were still some notable absences, like Phoebe’s husband Mike, played by Paul Rudd, and Ross’ son Ben, played by Cole Sprouse. Now the director of the reunion special has spilt the beans on why they were not included.
It is very rare for an American sitcom like Friends to have the kind of influence even after its ten-year run. With more and more young people watching the show years after it went off the air, there was a rising demand for a reunion special that stars the main cast, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Mathew Perry and Matt LeBlanc once again.
Friends: The Reunion special is finally released after it was delayed for a year due to COVID-19. And the director of the reunion special Ben Winston opened up to The Wrap about why Paul Rudd, Cole Sprouse and other special appearances made by other stars were not included in the show.
Winston said, “Well, we couldn’t have everybody on, because it’s only an hour and 45 minutes. And you’ve got to pay attention — the main nub of the show has got to be about the six cast members. So you can’t have too many cameos because of course, there were hundreds of amazing people who were in ‘Friends’ over the years. Sadly, we couldn’t get everybody in.”
The filmmaker also revealed that almost everyone else involved with the show was invited but COVID made things more difficult for some. Ben Winston said, “You know, we did invite some people who weren’t able to make it. It’s a complicated time to be making television now because, you know, some people couldn’t fly internationally, some people were on other TV or film shoots, some people are in bubbles on stuff.”
Winston further said, “I think during a pandemic, it’s really hard to get everybody where you want to be. And the other thing, of course, is we have no flexibility. It was one night that those six [main cast members] were available. The timing of it was incredibly difficult. So, you know, if you weren’t available on the seventh of April at 8 p.m., then, sadly, they weren’t able to be part of it. Yeah, we couldn’t get everybody in. It’s just one of those things. I hope people will think about all the great things that are in there rather than the things that aren’t.”