When friends Premiered in 1994, there was no way the stars could have predicted the fame the show would bring them. While Courteney Cox was relatively well known thanks to her Appeared in Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” music video.The careers of all six actors — which also included Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer — only skyrocketed after the NBC sitcom’s launch. Ahead of season one, the new group of friends famously embarked on a journey together, during which a member of the Central Perk crew proved hilariously unlucky.
There’s a story in there friends Lore by famed television director James Burrows brought the six cast members to Las Vegas prior to the show’s premiere. Contrary to the Season 5 episodes that would follow, no one married drunk or found their hand twin (I assume). But Burrows has opened up about what happened in his forthcoming memoir James Burrows is directing (above ET) and recalled how he had predicted the tremendous success that was to come for the group:
I imagine it would be pretty hard to believe that you could go from anonymity to international fame as quickly as these actors did. However, Courteney Cox may have had an inkling of what was about to happen, she said made a pretty big purchase after her audition for the role of Monica Gellar. Matt LeBlanc has since famously said it was him up to $11 before he landed the role of Joey Tribbiani, and according to James Burrows, his money problems continued when they reached Sin City:
It’s amusing to think of a time when $200 would be a lot of money for one of these actors — especially when you think about it how many millions they make in royalties each year — but it’s really funny to imagine Matt LeBlanc losing all his money in one fell swoop. I’m surprised this story didn’t make it into Joey’s plot in The One in Vegas. The director said all six paid him back after the trip.
James Burrows was certainly right that the six would never again be able to go public together unnoticed, but he said the trip gave them more than one last chance for anonymity. It was also about bonding, and their close off-screen relationships proved important over the years salary negotiations together.
friends was on the air for 10 years though, so it wasn’t foosball and coffee houses all the time. The actors have endured a number of personal obstacles over the years, including divorce, fertility struggles, and substance abuse issues. Matthew Perry has published his own memoir this year that promises not to sugarcoat the tougher times. Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing scheduled for release on November 1st, and by then all 10 seasons of friendsincluding the 2021 reunion special, is available to stream with HBO Max subscription.