Friday, November 14, 2008


Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, a fashion enthusiast who starts working at the coffee shop, but later moves into management at Bloomingdale's and, subsequently, at Ralph Lauren. Jennifer Aniston had already appeared in several unsuccessful sitcom pilots before being cast in Friends.
Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller (later Monica Geller-Bing), a chef who changes jobs often throughout the show, ending up as head chef at Javu. Courteney Cox was already an accomplished TV and film actress when she was cast, having appeared in the likes of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and with several minor roles on sitcoms such as Seinfeld and Family Ties.

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay (later Phoebe Buffay-Hannigan, Princess Consuela Banana Hammock or Regina Phalange), an eccentric masseuse and musician. Lisa Kudrow had previously played Ursula Buffay on Mad About You and would reprise the dual role of twin sister Ursula as a recurring character during several seasons of Friends. Kudrow was cast in the pilot of Frasier in the role of Roz, but the part was later re-cast with Peri Gilpin in the role.

Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, (other aliases include Josef Stalin, Holden McGroin and Ken Adams) a struggling actor who becomes famous for his role on Days of our Lives as Dr. Drake Ramoray. LeBlanc had appeared as Vinnie Verducci in Married... with Children in the early 1990s and starred in that sitcom's short-lived spin-off, Top of the Heap, as well as in the unrelated Vinnie & Bobby, but before that had mainly been focusing on advertising and modeling work when he was cast as Joey Tribbiani. After the show ended, a spin-off, Joey was created focusing on Leblanc's character; it wasn't as successful, having been cancelled after two incomplete seasons.

Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing (Ms. Chanandler Bong), an executive in statistical analysis and data reconfiguration for a large multi-national corporation. He is later a junior copywriter at an advertising agency and marries longtime friend Monica Geller. Like Aniston, Perry had already appeared in several unsuccessful sitcom pilots before being cast.

David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Monica's older brother, a paleontologist working at a museum of Prehistoric History and later a professor of paleontology at New York University. The character of Ross was written with David Schwimmer in mind; having auditioned for Crane and Kauffman in the past, Schwimmer was said to have a memorable voice and was mostly known for his Broadway work. He also appeared in The Wonder Years as the boyfriend and eventual husband of lead character Kevin Arnold's older sister Karen.
During the show's run, the cast all achieved household name celebrity status, and all pursued careers in the movies, with varied success. Aniston's movie career is predominantly populated with light romantic comedies including The Good Girl, Bruce Almighty, Along Came Polly, Rumor Has It and The Break Up.

Cox made several lightweight films and achieved her greatest success with the Scream series, in which she costarred with her husband, David Arquette, who had made a guest appearance as Ursula's stalker in Friends. This was followed by the critically acclaimed TV series, Dirt, that portrayed her as a ruthless editor of a two-bit tabloid magazine.

Kudrow fared best in low budget indie films, most notably The Opposite of Sex and Happy Ending, and also films like the comedy hit Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion and Analyze This. She also had her own series in HBO called "The Comeback (TV series)" where she played Valerie Cherish. Most recently Kudrow played a main character alongside Hilary Swank in 2007's P.S. I Love You.

Perry co-starred in the Canadian mafia comedy The Whole Nine Yards and its sequel The Whole Ten Yards along with Bruce Willis, who had also made guest appearances on the show. He also starred in the romantic comedy Fools Rush In. He also starred as the title character in the critically acclaimed The Ron Clark Story, and has since co-starred in TV drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and an episode of Scrubs titled "My Unicorn" as Murray. He has also played the leading role of the film Numb which, whilst released straight to DVD, has gained an appreciation and collection of high praise from critics.

Matt LeBlanc took a leading role in Lost in Space and starred as the boyfriend of Alex (Lucy Liu) in Charlie's Angels. He also reprised his role as Joey Tribbiani in the show's spin off series, Joey.

In 2001, Schwimmer co-starred as Capt. Herbert Sobel in the TV mini-series Band of Brothers. The same year, he and Friends guest star Hank Azaria led the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against the Nazis in Uprising. In 2005, Schwimmer starred as the voice for the giraffe Melman in the movie Madagascar, a role which he will reprise in 2008 for Madagascar 2. David Schwimmer directed ten episodes of Friends and two of Joey. His big directorial debut Run Fatboy Run was released on March 28, 2008.

Behind the scenes, the show was known for its unusually cohesive and unified cast. The six main actors made deliberate efforts, from early on, to keep the show's ensemble format and not allow one member to dominate; notably for a show of its length, the six principals each appeared in every episode of the run. This included requesting that all actors on the show be nominated either for the same category of award (Supporting Actor until 2001, then Lead Actor from 2002 onwards) or not at all, and entering collective instead of individual salary negotiations. The actors became such close friends that one guest star, Tom Selleck, reported sometimes feeling left out. The cast remained good friends after the show's run, most notably Cox and Aniston, with Aniston being godmother to Cox and David Arquette's daughter, Coco. In their official farewell commemorative Friends 'Til The End, they each separately acknowledged in their interviews that the cast had become their family.

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