Friends star Matthew Perry says that he would pass on reuniting with the show’s cast for a revival season/event. Starting in 1994, the NBC “Must See TV” sitcom Friends ruled the airwaves. It introduced TV viewers to six friends – Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) and his sister Monica (Courteney Cox), as well as Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) and Chandler Bing (Perry) – and navigated their lives as singletons in Manhattan.
Off the air for 13 years, it should come as a big surprise that Friends is still on viewers’ minds, especially in the age of TV revivals – where such sitcoms as Will & Grace and Rosanne are making their return. But if Friends were to come back, the group would likely be down one member, since Perry has already said that he’s not interested in a reunion event.
Perry explained his lack of interest in a Friends reunion during an interview with Variety, saying:
“I have this recurring nightmare – I’m not kidding about this. When I’m asleep, I have this nightmare that we do “Friends” again and nobody cares. We do a whole series, we come back, and nobody cares about it. So if anybody asks me, I’m gonna say no. The thing is: We ended on such a high. We can’t beat it. Why would we go and do it again?”
Perry certainly has his reasons to be leery. The success of Friends no doubt provided a springboard to launch the careers of the six core cast members following the conclusion of the sitcom in 2004, but only to varying degrees of success. Most of the actors have worked steadily, with Aniston undoubtedly having the most success on the big screen.
Perry, on the flip side, has had many opportunities on TV, but nearly all of his shows have suffered cancellation. Three of them – Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Go On, and Mr. Sunshine – got the hook after one season; while his latest, The Odd Couple (opposite Thomas Lennon), achieved the most success with a three-season run before getting the pink slip from CBS last month. As none of these shows have had the long-term success of his NBC classic, you have to wonder if the rejection is messing with the actor’s psyche.
Of course, a Friends reunion without Perry, much less any of the core group, would be pointless, so the actor would definitely have to come around if the sitcom were to to be revived, either now or years down the line. Money definitely kept the group together back in 2002 when Perry and his five cast mates successfully negotiated a then-unprecedented sum of $1 million per episode for each, so perhaps the risk of failure will become less important to the actor if NBC is willing to open its purse strings. It would be a friendly reminder of how good the network was to him in the past.