Actors Who Regret Guest Starring On Friends

Friends has maintained a devoted following from its original run to the present day. Along with familiar settings like Monica's apartment and Central Perk, the show's iconic characters are what make viewers come back for more. The sitcom is most remembered for its core six characters, but their lives naturally introduced other interesting individuals through the years. Love interests, family members, old friends, and acquaintances added a lot to the overall atmosphere of Friends. In the show's ten seasons on network television, a steady stream of guest stars complemented the main cast.

Because the series has remained popular, celebrities who took part in it are frequently asked about their past experiences. From hanging out on set to filming their scenes, some of them have been pretty honest about what it was like being on the show. Behind each guest star is a real person with a collage of memories. While some guest stars have nothing but happy thoughts about Friends, others acknowledge the drawbacks of being on the hit sitcom. It can be difficult to break into an established unit of colleagues and learn how they work. Furthermore, personal issues (like break-ups or creative differences) can cloud professional opportunities. Such behind the scenes details are rather surprising and are more common than people might realize. 

Friends wouldn't be the same without all those guest stars, but how many of them might have regrets about being on the classic '90s/2000s show?

Elle Macpherson once regretted playing Joey's roommate

From 1999 until 2000, Australian model and business owner Elle Macpherson played Joey's roommate, Janine Lecroix, on five episodes of Friends. In 2016, she revealed that she regretted her notable arc on the show. Macpherson's main concern at the time was Friends' longevity. She revealed to TV Week (via E! News) that she might not have done the show if she had known how important it would be in the United States. "It was a lot of pressure if you look at it in the way that it will be around for 20 or 30 years." Macpherson has a point – Friends has lived on through reruns and streaming for so many years. The guest star could have worked on even more episodes, but she declined while living in London.

It seems Macpherson felt that her words had been misconstrued in the TV Week interview, as she clarified her feelings in a subsequent interview with news.com.au, claiming she never regretted her role. Macpherson explained, "What I said was, had I known how successful it was before going, I think I would have chickened out because it was such an iconic show and I probably wouldn't have felt up to the job. But fortunately I went, I took a risk ... and I had the most incredible experience." 

The actor's feelings may have changed or her earlier words could've been misrepresented. Regardless, when asked if she would return for a reboot, her answer was short and sweet: "Yeah, definitely."

Reese Witherspoon was too scared to continue working on 'Friends'

One of the most talked-about Friends guest stars of the show's run has to be Reese Witherspoon, who played Rachel's sister, Jill Green, on two episodes. Because Witherspoon is such a high-profile actor, people love to revisit the many stages of her successful career. It was exciting for fans to see the star reunite with Jennifer Aniston for The Morning Show in 2019. Witherspoon and Aniston spoke with AP Entertainment to promote their Apple TV+ series and took a walk down memory lane. Witherspoon revealed that she was asked to return to Friends after her first appearances, a fact which seemed to surprise her TV sister. 

Witherspoon remembered that she turned down the offer because the filming process made her nervous. (FYI: Friends was filmed in front of a life studio audience.) She recalled, "I was too scared." After her two Friends episodes, the actor never reprised her role as Rachel's sister. Witherspoon elaborated on her fear by saying that a spot on Saturday Night Live was "terrifying." 

It's shocking that the powerhouse actor feels nervous or scared in front of the camera at all, especially with her strong return to the small screen in recent years. That being said, a live studio audience could be scary for anyone. The star's memories make her even more relatable to her devoted fans. Still, Friends fans will never know what could have happened if Witherspoon's Jill Green had returned for more adventures.

What has Kathleen Turner said about playing Chandler's dad?

Kathleen Turner has given multiple reports about her time on Friends. When she appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in 2019, a viewer called in to ask about Turner's role as Chandler's father. Andy Cohen told Turner that the role was groundbreaking and ahead of its time. However, the actor said she wouldn't play the part now (perhaps implying that the part would go to a drag queen or transgender actor). That being said, Turner seemed like she was okay with her past role — she played Charles Bing/Helena Handbasket in three Friends episodes – while recounting it.

As there are sometimes more facets of a story, Turner has gone into greater detail elsewhere on her Friends experience. In 2018, she told Vulture that she "didn't feel very welcomed by the cast," claiming that "none of the actors thought to offer [her] a seat" despite the fact that her "high heels were absolutely killing [her]." Turner also elaborated on the discomfort she felt in her wardrobe, which, at one point, was comprised of a sequined gown and, of course, the high heels. She classified the core cast of Friends as a "clique," explaining, "I think it was simply that they were such a tight little group that nobody from the outside mattered." 

When questioned further about what she thought of the group as actors, Turner didn't want to comment. When pressed, she noted her respect for the cast's "camaraderie." 

Brooke Shields' husband at the time couldn't stand watching her character with Joey

Brooke Shields played Erika, a huge fan of Joey's, in one Friends episode. Erika is described as "unstable," and the character's obsession with Joey leads her to lick his fingers. At the time, Shields was married to tennis player Andre Agassi, who was reportedly enraged by Shields' portrayal of Erika. When the actor appeared on Friends, Agassi was on set watching Shields' character fawn over Joey. Shields wrote about Agassi in her memoir, There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me.

Agassi was allegedly so infuriated by the personal scene between Shields and Matt LeBlanc that he "stormed off the set." In her memoir she wrote (via People), "He said I made him look like a fool by licking Joey's fingers and he got in his car and drove all the way to Vegas." Apparently, once he got to Las Vegas, "he systematically smashed and destroyed every single trophy he had won, including Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, never mind all the others" (via the Los Angeles Times).

While that couldn't have been a pleasant situation, on the bright side, Shields has shared a positive outcome of her time on Friends. In a 2019 interview for the BUILD Series, she said that her one episode role on the sitcom is how she got her own series, Suddenly Susan, in the late 1990s.

Jennifer Coolidge was 'intimidated' on the set of 'Friends'

Jennifer Coolidge opened up about her one-time role on Friends' final season. She played an obnoxious former acquaintance of Phoebe and Monica's named Amanda Buffamonteezi. As the actor settled into her quirky role, she put on a British accent and recited some unusual lines, like "touch my abs" and "smell my neck." One would think that the character would be nothing but fun for a hilarious actor like Coolidge. However, that was apparently not the case.

Coolidge brought all her comedic chops to the table. However, the set environment was still intimidating for her. "I have to say, I was kind of intimidated, even though I knew Lisa [Kudrow] because she was in a comedy group," she told the U.K.'s Metro. "But I didn't know the rest of them and I was very intimidated because they were all so attractive and had it going on." She also highlighted the "glamorous set," sharing, "I have to say, it didn't feel like a sitcom. It really did feel like a movie set. Everyone had a very good looking entourage." 

In addition to trying to break into a well-established clique while taking in such a flashy set, Coolidge also apparently had to deal with her ideas being shot down. She told Metro, "Sometimes I come in and throw some lines and they come up and say, 'You know Jennifer, we're just going to stick to the script.'" She added, "I don't think they wanted my input and I could really feel that ... So I didn't have the guts [to push]."

Working with his ex was painful for Tate Donovan

In 2013 during an interview with HuffPost Live, Tate Donovan was asked if his work on Friends had been "a great time." Sadly for him, it doesn't really seem like it was. In fact, he described is as "horrible" and "so tough." 

Donovan was working through a break-up with Jennifer Aniston while playing her love interest on the show. That situation would surely be challenging for many people, and it wasn't easy for Donovan to be on set with Aniston. He mistakenly thought that working on the show would simultaneously help the couple work through their break-up, but he ended up "weeping" in his dressing room.

In a 2018 Us Weekly interview, the actor praised the cast and said he "was just happy to be on the team." At the same time, he was breaking up in real life with the woman he was supposed to be falling in love with on screen. Donovan's character, Joshua Burgin, began as Rachel Green's personal shopping client and was part of her world for five Friends episodes. The pain of working with Aniston didn't lessen for Donovan, but the rest of the cast helped lighten the mood. 

He summed up the experience by saying, "It was really ultimately a great experience of how people can treat you really well, and you still do your job even though you're sort of dying inside."

What does Brad Pitt remember about being on 'Friends'?

Yet another famous Jennifer Aniston ex may or may not have regretted his screen time on Friends. Many years later, Brad Pitt still remembers both positive and negative aspects of his appearance. Pitt was on an episode of the sitcom when he was married to Aniston. His character, Will Colbert, was an old friend of Ross and Monica's who joined the group for one of their memorable Thanksgivings. With so much distance between his one-off guest role and his current career, fans might be curious about what Pitt even remembers from the Friends episode. 

In 2019, Access caught up with the actor at the Los Angeles premiere of his movie Ad Astra. After talking about the film, the conversation briefly turned to Pitt's Friends experience. He said he remembered being on the show and spoke about the "great cast" laughing and having fun with one another. Pitt also recalled how his performance derailed production. "I flubbed my first line. We had to stop and start again," he said. 

It's fascinating that the star would think of that little detail two decades later. However, guest stars seem to take the good with the bad when they think of Friends, so Pitt is definitely in good company.