Here's Why Paul Rudd and Cole Sprouse Were Missing From the Friends Reunion

After watching the Friends reunion, many fans wondered why Paul Rudd, Cole Sprouse and more former guest stars were absent from the HBO Max event. Now, director Ben Winston is weighing in.

By Jess Cohen May 28, 2021 12:16 PMTags
Watch: Why Were Paul Rudd & Cole Sprouse Missing From the "Friends" Reunion?

Did you notice a few Friends stars missing from the reunion? You're not alone.

The highly anticipated HBO Max event featured, of course, cast members Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David SchwimmerMatt LeBlanc and Mathew Perry—along with a number of cameos from notable Friends guest stars. However, there were two major standouts who were MIA from the reunion: Paul Rudd and Cole Sprouse.

As for why Rudd, who played Phoebe's husband Mike, and Sprouse, who portrayed Ross' son Ben, weren't involved in the reunion, it sounds as though there were just too many stars to fit in with so little time.

"Well, we couldn't have everybody on, because it's only an hour and 45 minutes. And you've got to pay attention—the main nub of the show has got to be about the six cast members," Ben Winston, who directed the reunion special, shared with TheWrap. "So you can't have too many cameos because of course, there were hundreds of amazing people who were in Friends over the years. Sadly, we couldn't get everybody in."

How the Friends Set Came To Be

Winston also noted that, given the ongoing global pandemic, it's difficult for people to travel. "You know, we did invite some people who weren't able to make it," he told the outlet. "It's a complicated time to be making television now because, you know, some people couldn't fly internationally, some people were on other TV or film shoots, some people are in bubbles on stuff."

NBCU Photo Bank

"I think during a pandemic, it's really hard to get everybody where you want to be. And the other thing, of course, is we have no flexibility," he added. "It was one night that those six [main cast members] were available. The timing of it was incredibly difficult. So, you know, if you weren't available on the seventh of April at 8 p.m., then, sadly, they weren't able to be part of it."


Unfortunately for fans, both Rudd and Sprouse have extremely busy schedules. It appears that Rudd has been filming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania overseas while Sprouse shoots Riverdale in Vancouver. However, despite the lack of Rudd and Sprouse, the reunion is jam-packed with must-see moments. Check them out HERE.

Friends: The Reunion is now streaming on HBO Max.