The Hollywood Reporter interviewed the producers, writers and caste of the cult series Friends ahead of its new reboot. We were talking about an episode that featured Julia Roberts, Brooke Shields, Chris Isaac and Jean Claude van Damme. It turns out Matthew Perry went to great lengths to convince Julia Roberts to star in a one-hour episode in 1996.
“Matthew asked her to take part in the show. She replied: “Write me an article on quantum physics and I will do it.” From what I understand, Matthew left, wrote the article and faxed it to her the next day, ”said executive producer Kevin Bright.
And the actors hit it off. “There was a lot of fax flirting. She asked him questions like, “Why should I date you?” And everyone in the writers’ room helped him explain to her why. He could well have done without us, but we were all Matthew’s team and tried to do it for him, ”said Alexa Junge.
Apparently the extra help worked. During filming, co-writer Jeff Astroff recalled, “She kept repeating, ‘Chandler is so funny!’ And I’m like, “I wrote each of these lines!” I don’t know if she fell in love with Matthew on the spot, but they soon started dating. I felt like Cyrano [де Бержераком]… For example: “Chandler is going to date Julia Roberts, and I’m going to go home to my terrible girlfriend.”
Brooke Shields, meanwhile, didn’t have that experience, thanks to her then boyfriend (whom she later married) Andre Agassi. Director Michael Lembeck told The Hollywood Reporter that the tennis player was particularly upset about the scene in which Shields licked Matt LeBlanc’s fingers.
“At the time, Brooke was with Andre Agassi. He appears on set and sits in the audience with a bodyguard eating the biggest hamburger ever. She stars in a scene where she begins to lick Matt’s hand. Then I see him coming down, taking Brooke aside and shaking her because he’s insanely jealous. She was brought to tears! I interrupted the show for a while, and the girls took Brooke aside and reassured her, took care of her and brought her back to the stage. He was a fool, ”Lembek recalled.
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