Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Ross, and Joey. Taken singularly, each is a common American name, easily forgotten; yet put together and they become charged with meaning, imbued with the humour and care that they portrayed as characters in the famed “Friends” television series. From 1994 to 2004, “Friends” was a hallmark of the NBC channel, attracting millions of viewers and building a substantial and devoted fan base. All good things come to an end, however, and after the season finale in 2004 each of the ‘friends’ went their separate ways.
Now, almost a decade after the conclusive episode, one has to wonder: where are they now? Jennifer Aniston – Rachel – was the one actress that eluded obscurity, starring in such blockbusters as “Along Came Polly” and “Horrible Bosses.” Still youthful as ever, and having recently turned 44-year-old is currently starring as a housewife in an as-yet untitled film based on Elmor Leonard’s novel The Switch. She has also signed contracts for two upcoming comedies, entitled “She’s Funny that Way” and “Convention.”
Meanwhile, her former on-screen beau Ross – played by David Schwimmer – is filming a soon-to-be-released movie called “The Iceman”, based on the true story of mob boss Richard Kuklinski. Prior to that, Schwimmer’s most prominent role was the voice of Melman the giraffe in the successful “Madagascar” franchise; he also starred in less-known films such as “Nothing but the Truth” (2008) and directed a movie called “Trust” (2010), featuring Clive Owen.
Ross’s best friend, Chandler – Matthew Perry – is now the protagonist of a new NBC sitcom called “Go On”, in which he plays a grieving sports caster who enters group therapy to deal with the loss of his wife and meets a motley amalgam of quirky personalities. His “Friends” wife, Monica –Courteney Cox – is scheduled to guest-star in a spring episode of “Go On”, marking the first time in almost ten years that the two have been on-screen together. Since 2009, Cox has been starring in a popular series called “Cougar Town”, about a divorcee that undergoes a variety of dating misadventures.
The third female “Friend”, Phoebe – Lisa Kudrow – has not held any outstanding roles for quite some time; she played minor parts in well-known films such as “P.S. I Love You” and “Easy A”, but didn’t return to the celebrity spotlight until 2011, when the online show “Web Therapy” – which she both created and acted in– became televised. Last but not least, good ol’ Joey Tribbiani – Matt LeBlanc. He played a failed actor in “Friends”, a role which unfortunately turned itself into somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. LeBlanc starred in a minor spinoff series called “Joey”, which ran for two years – from 2004 to 2006– before being terminated for lack of viewership. Currently, however, things are looking up for the actor, as he leads the sitcom “Episodes” through its second year and is predicted to star in a movie called “Lovesick” with Chevy Chase, coming out later this year. Still, regardless of their new personas, we will always remember these disparate actors as one cohesive unit, “Friends” forever.