Friends Reunion Director Reveals Major Mistake That Almost Ruined the Show's Big Moment

In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Friends: The Reunion director Ben Winston also revealed the cast members who were first to agree to the HBO Max special.

By Mike Vulpo Jun 07, 2021 6:26 PMTags

Every moment counts when you're with your friends.

As pop culture fans continue to feel nostalgic and savor every moment of Friends: The Reunion special, director Ben Winston is sharing new details into how the project came about.

In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Ben expressed his desire to have the cast come together for the first time on camera. But when he arrived on set to see six trailers side by side, he almost panicked.

"I was so upset," he shared. "The point of the show is they haven't seen each other. But it was too late to move them."

But with years of experience producing late-night and award shows, Ben acted fast and found a way to make it work. As he explained, "We built tents around each of their doorways. And I texted the six of them and said, ‘Look, I know you want to see each other but I'm begging you: please stay in your own dressing room until you're called to the stage. I really want to catch that moment.'"

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Although the cast played with his emotions with Matt LeBlanc joking that he was in bed with David Schwimmer, everyone followed directions. And yes, fans were treated to an authentic must-see TV moment.

Courtesy of HBO Max

"They mocked me for wanting that moment. But they did do what I asked," Ben shared. "And you do get the feeling that they haven't seen each other for ages. And it's a really beautiful moment. I've never seen a bond like these six have."

In the candid interview, Ben also shared new details about he got the cast to agree on his vision for a reunion special. While the Los Angeles—based producer says there is "no leader" among the cast, David was the most involved creatively in the show.

"He was the one I had to win over first," Ben explained. "He heard my ideas and then vouched for me."

Next, he went to the house of Lisa Kudrow, who had invited Courteney Cox and Matt along. Ben later met Matthew Perry over FaceTime.

Jennifer Aniston was the last on board, but was immediately impressed with Ben's ideas. "He's like a creative unicorn," she explained. "The work he put into the pitch, and how he got all of us so excited and inspired to say yes, showed us that he knows Friends better than all of us combined."

Watch the magic unfold with Friends: The Reunion streaming on HBO Max now.

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