Matt LeBlanc, the actor behind Joey — and Joey, the much-maligned spinoff — seems to be the most reluctant to do a Friends reunion.
“Yeah, that probably won’t happen,” he told Digital Spy in 2012. “Personally I do [think it’s a bad idea]. I think that show was all about a finite amount of time in six people’s lives. They were out of college, but they hadn’t settled down with their lives yet. Once they have moved on from that phase, that family unit has broken down a little bit. I’m sure they’d keep in touch a bit, but it wouldn’t be the same.”
“Everyone identifies with those characters in their own way, and everyone in their own mind imagines what has become of those characters,” he continued. “I just think it’s best to leave it at that.”
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LeBlanc was more emphatic in a 2018 interview with the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine. “I don’t want to do it,” he said at the time. “To go back and revisit all these years later, well, I don’t know what the story would be now.”
“Put bluntly, I don’t think anybody wants to see an old Joey having a colonoscopy. Fine when he was drinking coffee in Central Perk or auditioning for a job. Not so much fun if he’s undergoing a medical procedure,” he continued. “We were a lot younger then, and I think that’s how the characters should stay. Normally I’d never say never, but in the case of Friends, I would say definitely never.”
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On the topic of a Friends reunion, Courteney Coxtold David Letterman in 2014 that she had enough trouble in the prior ten years just trying to get the gang together for a cast dinner. “It doesn’t happen,” she said. “I can get the girls, maybe Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc canceled last time right at the last minute, Schwimmer lives here. So it’s never going to happen.”
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In 2015, the actress, who played Monica on the hit sitcom, told fans to “let it go” during a Yahoo! Style Interview. “We’re not doing it,” she said. “It’s just not gonna happen.”
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“We had done ten years; 237 episodes and the stories were kind of finished. I don’t think there is going to be a reunion,” Matthew Perry told Magic Radio in 2016. “People talk about that all the time but I don’t think that’s going to happen, because we ended on such a high note that I don’t want to risk doing something bad and ruining, tarnishing the image of it.”
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The Chandler portrayer expressed similar sentiments in a 2017 interview with Variety: “I have this recurring nightmare — I’m not kidding about this. When I’m asleep, I have this nightmare that we do Friends again and nobody cares. We do a whole series, we come back, and nobody cares about it. So if anybody asks me, I’m gonna say no. The thing is: We ended on such a high. We can’t beat it. Why would we go and do it again?”
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“Something should be done,” Lisa Kudrow the actress behind Phoebe said on Conan in 2018. “I don’t know what. They’re rebooting everything, but how does that work with Friends, though? That was about people in their 20s, 30s. The show isn’t about people in their 40s and 50s. And if we have the same problems, then that’s just sad. That’s not fun.”
David Schwimmer, who played Ross on the show, echoed Perry and LeBlanc’s concerns. “I really love how it ended,” he told Hollyscoop in 2011. “I think it was kind of a perfect ending, and I can’t see any good reason to revisit it.”
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In 2018, Schwimmer shot down the idea on Megyn Kelly Today. “Look, the thing is, I just don’t know if I want to see all of us with crutches [and] walkers,” he said.
“I doubt it — I really doubt it,” he added. “But thank you for asking, and moving on!”
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“Anything is a possibility, Ellen,” Jennifer Aniston said on a 2018 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, when the daytime talk host asked about the prospect of a reunion. “Anything! I mean, George Clooney got married!”
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Later in 2018, the Rachel portrayer told Elle that she’s all in on the idea. “Courteney and Lisa and I talk about it. I fantasize about it. It really was the greatest job I ever had. I don’t know what it would look like today, but you never know. So many shows are being successfully rebooted.”
Then she acknowledged the proverbial stick-in-the-mud. “I know Matt LeBlanc doesn’t want to be asked that question anymore,” she added. “But maybe we could talk him into it.”
They'll be there for you … well, in reruns and on streaming services, at least.
Despite Friends fans' overwhelming demand for a revival of the beloved comedy, the cast of the show hasn't expressed much optimism or even excitement for the idea.