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Monday, June 14, 2021

Friends Reunion director explains Paul Rudd and Cole Sprouse’s absence from the special episode

Friends The Reunion director explains Paul Rudd and Cole Sprouse's absence from the special. While Rudd played Phoebe's husband Mike Hannigan on the show, Sprouse was cast as Ross' son Ben Geller.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 29, 2021 9:01:28 am
friends reunion special episodeHere's why Paul Rudd and Cole Sprouse were missing from the Friends reunion.

The Friends reunion special episode had the fans going ga-ga as they relived the days of Central Perk and the purple apartment. While fans around the globe are still in awe of the six friends, there’s no denying that other supporting characters also gathered a large fan base during the show’s run and thus, were missed on the unscripted special. Paul Rudd, who played Mike Hannigan, and Cole Sprouse, who played Ross’ son Ben Geller, are two of the most prominent faces who were missed on the special episode.

Director of the reunion special episode Ben Winston spoke to The Wrap and explained why they were not able to have all the desired cameos. He shared, “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. 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.”

Winston added that they invited other cast members as well but due to the Covid-19 restrictions, everyone couldn’t make it. “You know, we did invite some people who weren’t able to make it. 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,” he shared.

Paul Rudd played the role of Phoebe’s husband Mike Hannigan on the American sitcom. Paul joined the series in the ninth season and his character eventually became quite significant as he got married to Phoebe. In an earlier interview to Variety, Paul had shared, “In something like Friends, the show was about them, but it’s an interesting thing to be a part of. I was only in it for just a blip. I felt, ‘I’m like a prop on this show. It’s not about Mike Hannigan.’ But there’s a very interesting feeling to be a part of something that has that kind of profound impact on pop culture.”

Paul had expressed his fandom in an interview with ET where he mentioned, “I had never been a part of anything that had that kind of viewership. Everybody was very nice, but I never could quite get over the fact that I was sitting in Central Perk, and I just 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 kind of observe and enjoy this ride.'”

Cole Sprouse, who played Ross’ son Ben Geller on the series was also missed on the reunion special. He appeared as the character from Seasons 6-8 on the series. This was his first role where he was cast solo as the Sprouse brothers – Cole and Dylan, were usually cast together. Remembering his days on the show, Cole had earlier shared with Today, “I’m pretty sure I fell in love with Jennifer Aniston, which the whole world had at that point. 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.”

Friends reunion special is streaming on ZEE5.

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