Whether we’re learning more about the casting process (we got seriously close to a show without David Schwimmer, by the way) or obsessing over behind-the-scenes photos of Jennifer Aniston with her Friends daughter Emma, there’s something so exciting about getting a glimpse into the world of the beloved sitcom. After all, the show did turn 25-years-old earlier this year, so any new Friends related-content is seriously valuable stuff.
Earlier this week, Reese Witherspoon spoke out about how she was invited to make a second appearance on the show, but decided to turn it down because she was terrified at the prospect of having to perform in front of a live studio audience again. And now another Friends guest star has revealed how their role was nearly played by the one-and-only Tom Hanks.
Speaking in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Freddie Prinze Jr, who played Ross and Rachel’s male nanny Sandy, admitted that the role was originally offered to Hanks.
“I wasn’t even supposed to be [Sandy], that was originally offered to Tom Hanks but he wasn’t gonna make it back from his film on time,” he explained.
“My agent called me and said, ‘Do you want to be on Friends?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do an episode of Friends. That’ll be great.’ He said, ‘Yeah, it shoots tomorrow’ and I was like, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Yes, tomorrow, so I’ll send you the script’.”
The episode Prinze Jr is referring to is The One With The Male Nanny, which was actually the 200th episode of the sitcom. The episode follows the story of Ross and Rachel as they hire a male nanny called Sandy to look after their daughter Emma, much to Ross’ discomfort. And although Ross eventually fires Sandy for being too sensitive, he later confides in him, explaining how his dad was tough on him as a kind for playing with dinosaurs instead of focusing on sports.
Prinze Jr also spoke about how David Schwimmer was particularly supportive on-set, saying he had a great time filming the episode.
“I went in and I was totally nervous because it was on the day of shooting. I didn’t even get to do a read-through,” he explained. “And David Schwimmer walked into my dressing room and he was so cool and so passionate and he had so much energy.”
While, of course, the final version of the episode was still amazingly hilarious, it’s crazy to think about what Hanks’ version of Sandy would have been like. Although he came so close to appearing in the sitcom, he never actually went on to do any other Friends guest-appearances.
Earlier this week, we learnt that a Friends reunion is officially in the works, so there’s still time to make a Tom Hanks x Friends collab happen. Fingers crossed!