‘Friends’ Stars Had a Sweet Secret Ritual Before Every Episode

by Jeremy Spirogis
Lisa Kudrow (top row, 2nd from left) with the rest of the cast of

Fans gearing up for a Friends reunion could must buff up on their trivia. The a lot anticipated particular will seem on HBO Max, though it’s not clear when.

One of the perfect items of trivia concerning the present is that the forged is pals in actual life. The Friends actors are nonetheless extremely shut, lengthy after the present began airing.

Unlike most reveals, the place the forged grows shut over the course of many seasons, these guys had a bond proper from the start, although they didn’t know one another earlier than being forged. 

The ‘Friends’ stars celebrated being forged within the present at Caesar’s Palace

Lisa Kudrow (top row, 2nd from left) with the rest of the cast of 'Friends'
Lisa Kudrow (prime row, 2nd from left) with the remainder of the forged of ‘Friends’ | Reisig & Taylor/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal through Getty Images

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Even although their success was removed from assured, it looks like Friends forged members had some concept that they have been about to make successful. David Schwimmer, the actor who performs Ross, was forged first. His love curiosity, Rachel, was forged final. When Jennifer Aniston stuffed the position, the six actors slated to play the six major characters all took a visit collectively to Las Vegas. 

They ate dinner at Caesar’s Palace collectively to benefit from their “last shot at anonymity.” Plenty of reveals don’t final very lengthy, so it was brash of the six Friends pals to imagine that their present would increase them out of their state of anonymity.

Maybe they have been basing their assumptions off of the reactions from the dwell studio viewers. Friends was filmed in entrance of an viewers, as have been many reveals within the 1990s. One factor is evident, nevertheless. This crew was shut from earlier than day one. 

The major ‘Friends’ stars had this particular ritual

Friends at a counterFriends at a counter
The forged of Friends | Getty Images

The undeniable fact that Friends was filmed in entrance of an viewers added a degree of strain to the actors. Unlike with recorded reveals, the forged would have much less leeway to mess up.

If they did make a mistake, it wouldn’t simply find yourself on the chopping room flooring. Fans of the present would see, even when the second wasn’t syndicated. The forged had a particular ritual that they carried out earlier than each present, and it could have been to assist them recover from just a little little bit of stage fright. 

Before filming, the six major actors — Schwimmer, Aniston, together with Matthew Perry, Courtney Cox, Matthew LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow — would get collectively. The six of them would lock themselves away for a non-public huddle.

Their huddle occurred earlier than each episode, and nobody else was allowed in. The forged would reportedly want one another nicely for his or her efficiency. “The six of us would do a huddle backstage and just say, ‘All right, have a good show, love you love you love you love you,’” recalled Kudrow to People.

Their closeness in actual life most likely made the present higher, however it additionally elevated their earnings. 

The ‘Friends’ negotiated as a unit 

The forged of Friends is well-known for breaking wage data once they negotiated a $1 million per episode paycheck. This was no accident.

The forged was sensible about the way in which they approached negotiations, and it was their closeness that led to the increase. The six major actors negotiated as a unit, which is how they managed to finagle the salaries they did.

Often instances, studios provide major actors extra money, and supporting actors much less. When actors band collectively for a increase, their success depends on the opposite forged members standing agency. Once one member folds, the studio is much less seemingly to provide in to the holdouts. 

The Friends group understood that. If considered one of them had folded throughout negotiations, none of them would have obtained the cash they requested for. But since all six stood sturdy, the studio ultimately gave in to their excessive wage calls for, and gave them the increase they requested for.

In the start of the present, the forged was making $22,000 per episode. By sticking collectively, they managed to extend their salaries greater than 4,000% over the course of the present. 

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