See Courteney Cox Hilariously Take Over a Friends Studio Tour

So, this is what Courteney Cox does on a break! The Friends star gave fans a BTS sneak peek on Aug. 11 at her new series Shining Veil, which coincidentally films on the same set.

By Samantha Bergeson Aug 12, 2021 2:38 PMTags
Watch: Courteney Cox Revisits Her Iconic "Friends" Apartment

Want the ultimate Friends tour? Just ask Courteney Cox

The Emmy nominee took a break from filming her new Starz series Shining Veil on Aug. 11 to give fans a behind-the-scenes tour down memory lane. "Here I am on the backlot of Warner Bros. filming my show, Shining Veil," Cox explained in the Instagram video. "There's definitely a lot of time in between set-ups, but I don't get bored. I see opportunity all around." 

Fifth Harmony's "Work From Home" starts playing as a montage featuring Cox working craft services and giving co-star Greg Kinnear a COVID test. Cox even takes over a studio tour! 

"We're at stage five, which is right here on our right," Cox tells fans. "This is where Friends started in 1994, and is now occupied by a show called Shining Veil, starring me."

She then successfully parks the huge tour van after a close call with another vehicle. Cox captioned the sweet video, "Work work work."

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Celeb pals like Brandi Carlile and Wanda Sykes shared their support. "Ahhhh, I miss you CC," Carile commented.

Queer Eye's Tan France added, "This makes me so happy!" 

At least now we know how this Friends alum spends her breaks!

Take a look at the video above to see Courteney's tour. Plus, you can step inside the Friends set with the gallery below. 

 

The Purple Walls

Yes, the walls of Monica's apartment have always been purple. Production designer John Shaffner's suggestion to paint the walls purple was not immediately met with agreement, but once he painted a little bit of the set and showed the shade of purple he was envisioning, it was an immediate hit. 

"In the pilot, the whole color scheme was based on the fact that the girls liked color and weren't afraid of it," Shaffner shares with E! News. "And of course, purple is the perfect color for all skin tones and hair colors. It's the best complement you can have. Blue is good, but blue is more gender neutral and the purple did give that atmosphere of being a little more feminine." 

Brown for the Boys

While the girls got purple, the boys got brown. 

"For the boys' apartment, in the first season, I said, everything in this apartment is going to be brown," Shaffner explains. "So we had brown carpet on a brown floor with brown drapes and a brown sofa and tan walls, and the boys were scared of color. Then they kinda got over it and got their yellow sofa, and started to jazz it up a bit as they got more secure in their manhood." 

The Secret Closet

Both apartments are designed for ideal comedy potential, with the bedrooms on one side and the kitchen and bathroom on the other. That meant that there was constant need for people to be walking back and forth across the living room. 

In the middle of it all was a mysterious door, set down a small hallway. 

"Everybody said, 'What's that door?' And I said, 'Well, why don't we wait and see what you think of?'" Shaffner remembers, and that resulted in the season eight episode, "The One with the Secret Closet." Turns out it's full of Monica's secret mess. 

The Peep Hole Picture Frame

Shaffner says that when he lived in a New York apartment like the one Monica has, he always had something hung on the door. His door usually had a peg for scarves or an umbrella, or maybe a chalkboard, and he wanted something similar for the show. Art director Greg Grande then came up with the picture frame. 

"I remember so clearly. He waved at me and he said, 'Come over here.' I came over, and he said, 'What do you think about this?'" Shaffner recalls. "He held up the little yellow picture frame, and held it over the peep hole. First of all, the color against the purple was spectacular. And I loved that it was so whimsical and fun, and it's a picture frame, for the peep hole through which you see your friends. So it's like a picture of all your friends! I just thought it was the most marvelous thing." 

The Confusing Exterior

No, the outside of the apartment building does not match the inside, and that's OK. 

"What always cracked me up is when they went for the establishing shot, they were in a real hurry so they found this picture of a building in New York that had arched windows on the top floor," Shaffner says. "And so I always explain it like, well, their apartment was in the back. And they were lucky because they were on a floor that only had two apartments on it." 

However, while Monica's apartment was bigger, purple, and had a balcony and brick in the kitchen, the apartments were designed to look like they could be in the same building. The moldings, all designed after Shaffner's real New York apartment, all match, and they have similar layouts. 

Shaffner was also accused of giving the apartment the kind of balcony and window that did not exist in New York, so he went on a mission to find that balcony in New York, take "a million" pictures, and prove he didn't make it up. 

That Pesky Post

As David Schwimmer and Lisa Kudrow greeted each other at the beginning of the reunion special, one of the first things they discussed was the post at the front of Monica's apartment set, and how a decision had been made to get rid of that post during the series. Shaffner explained that the post had been there from the beginning to indicate that at some point, the residents had taken down the wall between the kitchen and living room, which was common in New York apartment buildings because "landlords don't bother to come see what you've done."

Prolific director Jimmy Burrows was a big fan of that post.

"He loved this post and to shoot around it," Shaffner said. "So in the first season, when Jimmy was directing, most of the time we had the post there."

Then other directors came in, and they did not like shooting around the post, so it was removed. But every time Burrows returned, he wanted the post back. It had to be rebuilt halfway through the series because it got lost, and then had to be rebuilt once again for this special, in Burrows' honor.

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