11 Behind-the-Scenes Anecdotes from ‘Friends’ Supporting Players (PHOTOS)

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Friends Lauren Tom

Lauren Tom was booed for her role

“I wasn’t prepared for the amount of venom I was about to receive in a live audience where they actually booed my character,” Tom, who played Ross’s girlfriend Julie, told Today last month. “And, of course, I was trying very hard not to get my feelings hurt. So I had to get used to that. But I did understand intellectually that, you know, the audience was meant to be rooting for Rachel. Even I was rooting for Rachel, on some level, ’cause I was a fan of the show.”

Friends Tate Donovan

Tate Donovan appeared on Friends during his split from Jennifer Aniston

Donovan told Us Weekly in 2018 that he and Jennifer Aniston were at the end of their two-year relationship when he joined the show as Joshua, Rachel’s personal shopping client and eventual crush.

“I was just happy to be on the team,” he said. “The only bummer was Jennifer and I were breaking up at the time. And so that was tricky to sort of act, and act like we are just meeting each other, and falling in love, or whatever, interested in each other, when we’re sort of breaking up. That was just tough.”

Friends Cole Sprouse

Cole Sprouse had an on-set crush

“I’m pretty sure I fell in love with Jennifer Aniston, which the whole world had at that point,” Sprouse —who played Ross’s son, Ben — told Today. “But I do remember being quite intimidated around her, because of that. I remember blanking on my lines, and having a kind of stage fright when she sat next to me on the couch in one episode. And I remember there was a cameraman who was like, ‘Little boy’s got a crush,’ or I forget what they said. Of course, I turned bright red.”

Friends James Michael Tyler

James Michael Tyler didn’t get to use his barista experience

Tyler was slinging java when a Friends second assistant director approached him for a role that would have him pantomiming the same job. “I was actually working in L.A. as a barista at the Bourgeois Pig,” he told Movieweb in 2012. “He knew I was working there, and that there was the coffee shop set, Central Perk, so he called me and asked if I would like to come in, because they had an espresso machine on the set. Of course, I never had to make any real espressos in those 10 years, because it’s so loud, but I did have experience before that.”

Friends Christine Taylor

Christine Taylor was nervous about being bald

Taylor accepted a Friends role even before seeing the script that revealed her character, Bonnie, would shave her head to make herself less desirable to Ross. “To their credit, Jennifer, Courteney, Lisa, they’re like, ‘You look so beautiful bald,'” she told Today. “I was like, ‘I look like an alien.’ And I had a lot of hair then, too, so it was packing all of my hair into the bald cap, which sort of made my head grow even bigger. So I had to just sort of swallow my pride and go for it. And it was so much fun. And they could not have been kinder and more loving.”

Friends Maggie Wheeler

Maggie Wheeler based Janice’s laugh partly on Flipper

Janice, Chandler’s occasional girlfriend, is known for her abrasive cackle, for which Wheeler drew from disparate sources. “I grew up watching Flipper, which was a fantastic show about a dolphin, and I was in love with that dolphin, and of course the dolphin sounds like a dolphin,” the actress told BBC Radio 5 Live earlier this year. “So I sort of say she’s a combination of [Welcome Back, Kotter character] Arnold Horshack and Flipper and Woody the Woodpecker.”

Friends Kristin Davis

Kristin Davis lost sleep before her guest spot

Sex and the City was in production, but I was nervous to be the tiny character of Erin, losing sleep, partly because of the live audience, but partly because you’re in this world that has been created that is so alive and so specific and you’re trying to make sure you’re fitting yourself in there properly,” Davis, who played one of Joey’s romantic interests, told Today. “And I remember, like, ‘Will I set that joke up OK? Will Matt [LeBlanc] be happy? Will I just go blank?’ Things go through your head when you’re in those situations that are heightened like that.”

Friends Aisha Tyler

Aisha Tyler was cast in colorblind casting

In 2018, Tyler told InStyle that the producers used colorblind casting when they picked her to play Charlie, a paleontologist who dated Ross.

“The role wasn’t written as a woman of color, and when I auditioned, I read against women of every ethnic background,” she told the magazine. “I think why it worked was that they didn’t make it into a ‘very special episode of Friends,’ where the friends suddenly confront issues of race, or try to somehow counterbalance the previous eight seasons’ relative lack of diversity. I was just a character on the show, with her own appeal and quirks and foibles, and I think that’s why it worked so well.”

Friends Cosimo Fusco

Cosimo Fusco fudged his Italian

“I made up most of the Italian spoken by Paolo,” Fusco, the actor behind Rachel’s Italian boyfriend, told Today. “When I’m standing by the window with Jennifer, and I say, ‘Look at the moon, look at the stars,’ I just made up those lines.”

Friends Eddie Cahill

Eddie Cahill auditioned against Tom Welling

Cahill narrowly beat out the Smallville star for the role as Tag, Rachel’s assistant-turned-boyfriend.

“The final audition was on a Tuesday and down to myself and Tom Welling,” Cahill told TV / Video Download in 2016. “They bought us to set, and whoever got the role was going to go right to rehearsals. I remember walking into a room with Marta Kaufman, David Crane, Kevin Bright, and Jennifer Aniston and they could see I was terrified. … Tom very graciously shook my hand and wished me well.”

Friends Christina Applegate

Christina Applegate’s favorite line wasn’t originally in the script

“I think my favorite line … is when I keep saying Lisa’s [Kudrow] name wrong,” Applegate, who played Rachel’s sister Amy, told Today. “And then she goes, ‘Phoebe.’ And I say, ‘Why does she keep making that noise?’ That was written as a rewrite in front of the audience, and I thought it was hilarious.”

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As we approach Friends 25th anniversary this September — and while we keep our fingers crossed that the cast will reunite for some sort of revival — let’s hear behind-the-scenes stories from some of the Friends actors not named Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, or David Schwimmer.

Click through the gallery above for their recollections from the set of the hit NBC sitcom.