Friends Reunion Director Explains Why Paul Rudd And Cole Sprouse Did Not Make AppearancesPublished on May 31, 2021.
The much-anticipated Friends reunion has finally aired, but fans had a few questions about why some key characters weren’t in attendance.
The reunion episode featured the full main cast including Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green), Courteney Cox (Monica Geller), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay), Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani), Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing) and David Schwimmer (Ross Geller).
It also featured a few guest stars from Lady Gaga to Reese Witherspoon to Tom Selleck, but fans had questions about why Paul Rudd, who played Phoebe’s husband Mike, and Cole Sprouse, who played Ross’s son Ben, did not attend.
The director of the special, Ben Winston, explained to The Wrap that Rudd and Sprouse’s absence was simply a matter of logistics. “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,” Winston began.
“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.”
“You know, we did invite some people who weren’t able to make it,” Winston continued. “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.”
“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,” he explained.
“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.”