Entertainment

Friends reunion: What the stars have been up to

After years of speculation, it has been confirmed the cast of Friends will reunite for an unscripted special.

It was a will-they-won’t-they to rival Ross and Rachel’s romance.

Since Friends, one of the most popular TV shows in history, came to an end in 2004, rumours have swirled of an impending reunion.

Hopes were raised – and then dashed – amid reports the comedy would be making a comeback, either on the small screen or as a film.

Now, a reunion has been confirmed.

Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer will reunite for an unscripted special on the HBO Max streaming service.

It will bring the stars back together on the original Friends set at the Warner Bros studio lot in Burbank, California, to celebrate the show.

Here is what the Friends have been up to since 2004:

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston played Rachel Green for 10 years on Friends (Ian West/PA)

After 10 years of playing shopaholic Rachel Green on Friends, Aniston focused on her film career, enjoying box office success across drama and comedy.

Notable roles included 2006 rom-com The Break-Up alongside Vince Vaughan and 2008 tear-jerker Marley & Me, also starring Owen Wilson.

In 2010 Aniston appeared opposite Gerard Butler in comedy The Bounty Hunter.

She made her return to TV last year, starring alongside Reese Witherspoon – who played her sister in Friends – in Apple TV+ drama The Morning Show.

It has been a hit with critics and won Aniston, 51, a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Aniston’s personal life has continued to attract intense interest.

News of her separation from former husband Brad Pitt in 2005 sparked a media frenzy, which intensified amid reports he had been unfaithful with his Mr And Mrs Smith co-star Angelina Jolie.

Aniston married the actor Justin Theroux in 2015, but they split on good terms two years later.

Courteney Cox

Courteney Cox
Courteney Cox played Monica Geller on Friends and will be returning for a special (Ian West/PA Wire)

After middling success in the years following Friends, including roles in films Zoom and The Longest Yard, Cox scored a hit with the TV comedy Cougar Town, which first aired in 2009.

She played a recently divorced mother in her 40s, looking for new experiences following the collapse of her marriage.

It ran for six seasons until 2015.

Cox reprised her role as Gale Weathers in 2011’s Scream 4.

The 55-year-old, who was married to her Scream co-star David Arquette for 14 years, has been in a relationship with Snow Patrol band member Johnny McDaid since 2013.

Lisa Kudrow

Lisa Kudrow
Lisa Kudrow played Phoebe Buffay on Friends (Ian West/PA)

Kudrow played the lovable eccentric Phoebe Buffay on Friends. Her first major role following the show was in HBO series The Comeback, which premiered in June 2005.

Kudrow, who co-created and produced The Comeback, also starred in it as a has-been sitcom actress trying to revive her career.

It was a critical hit for Kudrow, 56, bagging her two Emmy nominations. She was never far from TV screens following Friends, with roles of varying weight in shows including Cougar Town, BoJack Horseman, Angie Tribeca, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Scandal.

Kudrow’s post-Friends film roles have included Bandslam (2008), Easy A (2010), The Girl On The Train (2016), Long Shot (2019) and Booksmart (2019).

The 56-year-old has been married to French advertising executive Michael Stern since 1995.

David Schwimmer

David Schwimmer
David Schwimmer will join his Friends co-stars for an unscripted special on HBO Max (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Following the Friends finale, Schwimmer starred in the independent drama film Duane Hopwood as an alcoholic dealing with the collapse of his marriage.

Reviews were mixed. He also lent his voice to a giraffe in 2005 animated comedy Madagascar before switching to the stage in both the West End and Broadway.

His directorial debut came in 2007 with British comedy Run Fatboy Run. The film starred Simon Pegg as a down-on-his luck father attempting to complete a marathon to prove to his son and former fiancee he has turned his life around.

Schwimmer, 53, earned acclaim for his portrayal of OJ Simpson lawyer Robert Kardashian in the anthology series American Crime Story.

The former Friends star received an Emmy nomination for the role.

Schwimmer has a daughter with British artist Zoe Buckman.

Matthew Perry

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Perry is known to millions of fans as Chandler Bing.

Since leaving Friends, he has only starred in three films, including 2009’s 17 Again alongside Zac Efron.

Perry was the co-creator, writer and star of short-lived sitcom Mr Sunshine, which premiered in 2011. The following year he appeared as a sportscaster in NBC comedy Go On.

Perry has had a public battle with substance abuse. In 2013, he received an award from the White House for opening Perry House, a sober living facility at his former mansion in Malibu, California.

In September 2018 he tweeted he had spent three months in hospital following reports he had surgery to repair a ruptured bowl.

Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc
Former Top Gear host Matt LeBlanc will re-join his Friends co-stars for a reunion special (Isabel Infantes/PA)

LeBlanc’s character, the womanising but lovable daytime soap actor Joey Tribiani, had his own spin-off in the months following Friends’s ending.

Joey ran for two seasons but was cancelled due to poor ratings.

Following a five-year break, LeBlanc played himself – though a slightly embellished version – in comedy series Episodes, winning a Golden Globe for the performance.

LeBlanc, 52 and a passionate petrolhead, had a three-year stint co-hosting Top Gear during the show’s post-Jeremy Clarkson years, announcing  his decision to step down in 2018.

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