Even Matthew Perry shared a first-look at the Friends reunion taping
Pivot! The cornerstone of ’90s television gears up to start filming a not-quite reboot of the ensemble show. As Good Morning America reports, David Schwimmer recently appeared on The Graham Norton Show, where he told giddy viewers the long-delayed show will shoot next week in Los Angeles. And since, fans have been posting scenes of the set on Twitter.
Much like when Ross delivered the smallest gift basket to naked guy in hopes of snagging the man’s coveted apartment, Schwimmer gave fans a tiny tidbit of a gift: what to expect from the reunion.
For starters, he says, we won’t see Ross, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, and Joey as we remember them.
“I’ll be myself. I’ll be David,” Schwimmer explained of the upcoming unscripted special. “We’re not in character … we’re all ourselves, the real people.”
Norton also asked Schwimmer if he’s prepared for filming by watching the show.
“You know, It’s really funny. I should have been doing that,” Schwimmer responded. “And I really have very little excuse. But I haven’t been able to bring myself to catch up on the 236 episodes.”
“I guess I need to watch a lot over the next five days,” he laughed.
Friends producers and cast have stated time and again that no one is interested in an in-character reunion. “What was at the heart of the show is done,” co-creator Marta Kauffman told Entertainment Weekly in 2014. “And let’s be honest, it’s 20 years later. Nobody looks like they did then. And you’re going to spend the whole time going, ‘Wow, he’s aged.’”
Still, Schwimmer added a mysterious tease about the filming.
“There is one section, I don’t want to give away — where we all read something,” he said.
Co-star Lisa Kudrow spoke with Rob Lowe on his podcast Literally With Rob Lowe and gave a similar take on the project, Entertainment Weekly reports.
“It’s not, like, a scripted thing,” she told Lowe. “We’re not portraying our characters. It’s us getting together, which just doesn’t happen a lot and has never happened in front of other people since 2004 when we stopped. I think it’ll be great.”
The Twitterverse geeked out over pics of the set that made their rounds this past week.
I’m so excited!! pic.twitter.com/BgXprM9fnG
— Inside Friends (@insidefriends) April 9, 2021
Matthew Perry also took to Instagram to share a (now-deleted) behind-the-scenes photo.
“Seconds before eating a makeup brush. Not to mention reuniting with my Friends,” Perry captioned the photo.
Fans shouldn’t read too much into the fact the cast hasn’t reunited until now, Kudrow says.
“Look, we’re all incredibly grateful, and we all knew it then, and know it now, that that was such a unique situation,” Kudrow told Entertainment Weekly. “We all loved — and love — each other. And genuinely had so much fun. And laughed for 10 years every day. We’re just really grateful. When we have been able to get together — I think that’s maybe twice and not even all of us — some people remember stuff the rest of us don’t remember at all. And then it’s fantastic.”
The special was initially intended to air last May to correspond with the start of HBO Max, but it encountered numerous setbacks due to the pandemic.
“The truth is, we’ll do it when we all determine it’s safe to do so,” Schwimmer told Entertainment Weekly mid-summer 2020. “There’s no question we want to do it and it’s going to happen. It’s just really a question of when will be the safest time to do it.”
Filming for the special was postponed indefinitely in August during a spike in coronavirus cases. The “Friends” reunion special will air later this year on HBO Max.