The Friends Reunion Special episode had fans cheering as they were re-living the days of the Central Perk and Purple Apartments. While fans around the world are still in awe of the six friends, it cannot be denied that other supporting characters also gathered a large fan base as the show went on and, thus, missed out on the unscripted specials. Paul Rudd, who played Mike Hannigan, and Cole Sprouse, who played Ross’ son, Ben Geller, are the two most prominent faces who were recalled in the special episode.
Director of Reunion special episode Ben Winston spoke to The Wrap and explained why they all failed to do the desired cameo. He shared, “Well, we can’t keep everyone, because it’s only an hour 45 minutes. And you have to pay attention – the main focus of the show should be about the six actors. So you don’t have too many cameos. Maybe because there were definitely hundreds of amazing people who had been in Friends for years. Sadly we couldn’t bring everyone in. “
Winston said he invited other artists as well but due to the Kovid-19 restrictions, not everyone could make it. “You know, we had invited some people who were not able to make it. It’s a complicated time to make television because, you know, some people couldn’t fly internationally, some other TV’s. Or were on film shoots, some people are bubbling over stuff, ”he shared.
Paul Rudd played the role of Phoebe’s husband Mike Hannigan on the American sitcom. Paul appeared in the series in the ninth season and his character eventually became quite important as he married Phoebe. In an earlier interview to Variety, Paul shared, “In something like Friends, the show was about them, but it’s an interesting part to be a part of. I was only in it for a blip. I felt, ‘I’m like a prop on this show. This is not about Mike Hannigan. ‘ But it is a very interesting feeling to be a part of something that has that kind of profound impact on pop culture. “
Paul expressed his fantasy in an interview with ET where he mentioned, “I have never been part of anything that has that kind of viewership.” Everyone was great, but I never recovered from the fact that I was sitting in Central Perk, and I really didn’t want to get in the way. I knew no one was tuning in for Mike Hannigan, so I was like, ‘Oh wow, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy this kind of ride.’ “
Cole Sprouse, who played Ross’ son Ben Geller in the series, also missed the reunion special. He appeared as a character in seasons 6–8 of the series. This was his first role where he was taken alone as the Sprouse brothers – Cole and Dylan, usually cast together. Recalling her days on the show, Cole had previously shared with Today, “I’m pretty sure I fell in love with Jennifer Aniston, who was around the world at the time.” But I remember that I was quite scared around him, because of this. I remember when she was sitting on the couch next to me in an episode, I was blanking on my line, and there was a kind of stage fright.
The Friends Reunion Special is streaming on ZEE5.