07/06/2021 15:20 BST

Friends Reunion Director Reveals How Set Blunder Nearly Ruined Show's Emotional Opening Moments

Ben Winston admitted he was "so upset" when he realised his plan for the cast's first meeting was under threat.

Friends: The Reunion director Ben Winston has revealed how the show’s emotional opening sequence was nearly ruined by a production blunder. 

In an interview with The Times, the TV exec explained he wanted the six actors’ first meeting for the special to take place on the original soundstage at the Warner Bros studios in California. 

However, the show ran into problems when the cast’s six trailers were positioned right next to each other on the lot.

The cast of Friends during the opening moments of the reunion

“I was so upset,” Ben admitted. “The point of the show is they haven’t seen each other. But it was too late to move them.”

He revealed that the team quickly thought on their feet to keep their original plan in tact. 

“We built tents around each of their doorways,” Ben said. “And I texted the six of them and said, ‘Look, I know you want to see each other but I’m begging you: please stay in your own dressing room until you’re called to the stage. I really want to catch that moment.’”

The cast had their fun teasing Ben though, as he added: “They were, like, ‘What do you mean? We’re all in the car on the way here together.’ ‘Jen, will you pick me up a coffee?’ ‘Oh, I’m already outside your house.’ And then Matt [texted] ‘I’m already in bed with David.’

“They mocked me for wanting that moment. But they did do what I asked. And you do get the feeling that they haven’t seen each other for ages. And it’s a really beautiful moment. I’ve never seen a bond like these six have.”

Terence Patrick/HBO Max
Matt LeBlanc and Courteney Cox embrace on the set of the Friends reunion

Lisa Kudrow previously revealed that her favourite moment from the reunion actually took place in this part of the show – even if it did pass her by at the time

She said it was only when David Schwimmer pointed it out to her when they watched the episode back together that she realised what had gone on.

Speaking to E! News, Lisa said: “Courtney [Cox] comes in and bursts into tears. And then, I grab a napkin, or a tissue [and Matt] LeBlanc takes it, because he’s telling a story and doesn’t want to skip a beat, and starts dabbing her eyes, just on automatic.”

Friends: The Reunion is available to stream on NOW.

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