Matthew Perry gave desperate Friends fans their first taste of the upcoming reunion episode with a humorous behind-the-scenes photo of himself getting ready.
The 51-year-old comic actor shared a photo on Friday night of himself in an unguarded moment while he had his makeup done professionally in his dressing room.
The new image was shared after Friends’ original set decorator Greg Grande posted an image of the set that seemed to confirm filming was underway.
Back at it: Matthew Perry, 51, shared a goofy photo of himself in the makeup chair on Friday, making it the first official confirmation that the Friends reunion is filming
Matthew looked hilariously unguarded in his photo as his mouth drooped open and he stared into his dressing room mirror blankly while the makeup artist stood to his side with a brush at hand.
He was dressed in a blue-and-gray plaid shirt and sported close-cropped salt-and-pepper hair, along with tissue packed into his collar to keep the makeup off his clothes.
‘Seconds before eating a makeup brush,’ he joked, adding, ‘Not to mention reuniting with my Friends.’
His playful photo confirmed that he and his costars were hard at work on the reunion special.
Just days earlier, Matthew was spotted out in Burbank with his fiancée Molly Hurwitz, 29, who accepted his proposal back in November.
Having a laugh: ‘Seconds before eating a makeup brush,’ he joked, adding, ‘Not to mention reuniting with my Friends’; publicity still for Friends
Taking their time: The special was intended to debut with the arrival of HBO Max, but it had to be delayed due to the pandemic; publicity still for Friends
Although many fans likely hoped for a continuation of the series, or an update on where the characters were more than 15 years after the show ended, they’ll have to settle for an unscripted chat between the original cast members: David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt Le Blanc, Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry.
The high-profile special was originally advertised as one of the perks of the HBO Max streaming service, as it was intended to debut with the streamer on day one, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the show to delay taping.
Fans had already suspected that the reunion was filming after Greg Grande — who was responsible for dressing the likes of Central Perk and the New York apartments in the iconic US sitcom — shared a snap of the recreated fountain set to Instagram earlier in the day.
In the image, the yellow couch can be seen by the fountain, however some extra chairs and a coffee table have been added as if to accommodate a sit-down chat.
Although the couch was similar to the original, the design of the cushion was slightly different, and it was more of a yellow shade while the original was a pale orange.
Brings back memories: Friends’ original set decorator hinted that the hotly-anticipated and much-delayed reunion show had started filming after sharing a snap of the iconic fountain set
Greg did not add a caption to his image, however the snap showed six cups around the informal set-up and the coffee table resembled the one used during past Central Perk scenes.
Striped cushions and blue blankets were also visible on the mustard couch as well as fans and lights around the area.
Several people wearing face-masks could also be seen walking around in the background of the snap, further suggesting that filming was underway.
Dozens of Friends fans quickly shared their excitement in the comments, with many saying they couldn’t wait to watch the reunion special.
Reunited: Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox and Matt Le Blanc are set to be interviewed about the comedy that propelled them to stardom in 1994 and lasted for 10 years
One person wrote: ‘Can’t put into words how excited I am for this.’
While another added: ‘Set looks incredible! So excited to see the gang sat there.’
Last Friday, sources told Deadline that HBO Max’s unscripted special would start taping in Los Angeles within the next seven days.
Although HBO Max declined to comment, it has already been confirmed that the reunion will be filmed at the original soundstage — Stage 24 — situated on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, California.
The Friends fountain, despite many assuming it would be in New York where the show is set, is located on Warner Bros ranch and fans can see it during studio tours.
During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show last week, David hinted that there may be a brief moment of the stars reviving their beloved sitcom characters.
The New York-based actor, who played Ross Geller in the comedy, said: ‘I’m going to LA to shoot the Friends Reunion. I will get to see everyone for the first time in years.’
Together: The cast were known for all jumping onto the orange couch in the long-running show
Reusing the table? Greg’s latest snap also features a wooden table which looked similar to the one inside Central Perk
Asked if he will be Ross or David in the reunion, he said: ‘I’ll be David. Nothing is scripted and we are not in character. We are all ourselves, although there is one section of it that I don’t want to give away, but we all read something.’
He then jokingly added: ‘I should have genned up on old episodes, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to catch up on the 236 shows. I guess I need to watch a lot over the next five days!’
The latest snap also comes after Greg posted a picture of the resurrected set of Monica Geller’s home to Instagram last month, suggesting at least some of the show would happen there.
Excited: Dozens of fans praised Greg’s set, with many saying they couldn’t wait to watch the reunion and see the cast back together
Heading to LA: During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show last Friday, David confirmed that he will not be in character for much of the reunion
He captioned the snap: ‘Sssh! Somethings happening, deja vu… coming alive once again! ❤️ #friends #monicasapt #friendsreunion’ [sic]
While Greg was responsible for the knickknacks in Monica’s home, the set was designed by John Shaffner and Joe Stewart — who were also responsible for painting the walls purple.
Friends’ final episode aired in the spring of 2004, and saw Monica and husband Chandler Bing pack up the famously purple loft and move out to the suburbs with their newborn twins.
All back to Monica’s? Greg also took to Instagram in March, seemingly confirming that the reunion show will take place on a resurrected set of Monica Geller’s home
Decorator: Greg was responsible for dressing the likes of Central Perk and the New York apartments in the iconic US sitcom [pictured visiting a life-size Lego Friends event]
Deconstructed: Friends final episode aired in the spring of 2004, and saw Monica and husband Chandler Bing pack up the famously purple loft and move out to the suburbs with their twins
When the show wrapped, the set was taken down. It had lived on Stage 24 at the Warner Bros lot in Hollywood for a decade, but was taken over in 2005 when spin-off series Joey was filmed there.
Joey saw Matt Le Blanc’s character Joey Tribbiani move to LA to continue his acting career. Stage 24 was re-dressed with a new set — that of Joey’s sister Gina Tribbiani’s Los Angeles house.
Joey lasted only two seasons before it was canceled due to lackluster ratings, with fans uninterested in a show that only focused on one of the six friends.
Central Perk’s set is still intact at Warner Bros and is part of the studio tour.
The real coffee house soundstage — not a replica — can be visited when the tour is open to the public, as it’s currently shut down due to the pandemic.
New show: Joey saw Matt Le Blanc’s character Joey Tribbiani move to LA to continue his acting career. Stage 24 was re-dressed with a new set – that of Joey’s sister Gina Tribbiani’s Los Angeles house. Joey lasted only two seasons before it was cancelled
In 2019, Greg reflected on the details of Monica’s apartment in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
‘I felt like Monica’s apartment was pretty iconic. Monica’s was definitely the standout,’ he said. ‘[The Warner Bros] prop house had some exceptional old pieces of furniture that had been around forever and ever and ever that were kind of tucked away and hidden in the basement and the third floor. Pieces that no one really would ever have used unless you reinvented them.’
Greg explained in the interview that some of the items – including the French circus poster hanging behind Monica’s television – were last-minute additions that he didn’t think twice about.
‘It’s funny that the way it happened was so natural and kind of not thought-out too much and now it’s an iconic poster.
Do you really serve people sneezers? Central Perk’s set is still in tact at Warner Bros, and is part of the studio tour. The real coffee house soundstage – not a replica – can be visited when the tour is open to the public [currently shut amid the pandemic]
All in the details: In 2019, Greg reflected on the details of Monica’s apartment in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. ‘I felt like Monica’s apartment was pretty iconic. Monica’s was definitely the standout,’ he said
‘It is really crazy and it’s awesome to think that I put such a fingerprint on that show — and it’s really sad that I can’t get any piece of the action! Somebody owes me, for God’s sakes! It’s funny because I did pitch them a whole furniture line after the show but they didn’t want it.’
Greg appeared in the finale of Friends as one of the removal men, wheeling Chandler’s dog statue out of the apartment.
‘That rings true, that I’m moving the last piece of furniture out of the apartment. I got a little sentimental,’ he said.
David Schwimmer was the latest cast member to update fans on the progression of the reunion show.
David — who played Ross Geller — said in early March that he will join his former co-stars to tape the reunion ‘in a little over a month’ during a chat on SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live.
Six-some: The reunion is not set to be a scripted continuation of the sitcom, but a sit-down chat with the six lead cast members
The one with the reunion: Schwimmer revealed that he will join his former co-stars to finally tape the Friends reunion ‘in a little over a month’ during a chat on SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live in early March
‘Have you guys shot anywhere?’ Cohen asked of HBO Max reunion.
‘Actually, in a little over a month I’m heading out to LA,’ the actor responded. ‘So, finally, I mean, we figured out a way to film it safely and there’s going to be a portion of it that we filmed outside because of, you know, for safety protocols.’
Andy then inquired about rumors that the event was going to be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres — who was embroiled in a toxic workplace scandal in 2020 regarding the set of her eponymous talk show.
Ellen starred in her own sitcom — Ellen — around the same time as Friends, and often made references to the fact they both had coffee house settings.
‘Is Ellen hosting that?’ Cohen asked, to which Schwimmer replied with a quick ‘no.’
‘She’s not?’ Andy said, pushing the star to give more details. ‘Do you know, can you say who is?’
Postponed: Originally, the reunion was supposed to debut May 2020 as part of HBO Max’s launch but after the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, production plans were scuppered
‘You know what, I don’t know if I can actually,’ the star said. ‘Yeah. Should’ve found that out. Um, all right. It’s not Ellen, it’s not Billy Crystal. I could tell you who it’s not.’
Deflecting, David asked: ‘Andy is it you?’
The broadcast responded: ‘Oh my God. I wish it was.’
The special event has been in the works since February 2020 with a film date of March 2020.
Originally, the reunion was supposed to debut in May 2020 as part of HBO Max’s launch but when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, causing chaos in the film and TV industry, production plans were scuppered.
Not Ellen: Andy then inquired about rumors that the event was going to be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres – who was embroiled in a toxic workplace scandal in 2020. ‘Is Ellen hosting that?’ Cohen asked, to which Schwimmer replied with a quick ‘no’
HBO Max announced in April of last year that the show would not be filmed in time to debut at the streaming service’s launch and the sit-down was pushed back to August 2020.
As the pandemic raged, that date was also abandoned. Matthew Perry tweeted in November that the taping was officially rescheduled for March but even that date was delayed according to the latest from Schwimmer.
‘Friends reunion being rescheduled for the beginning of March. Looks like we have a busy year coming up. And that’s the way I like it,’ Perry wrote at the time.
Returning to screens: Sitcoms such as Will & Grace were revived in recent years to much fanfare
Reboot: Frasier is the latest said to be going through a revival at Paramount
Fans have oftentimes called for there to be a scripted reunion in which the cast return as their characters for a one-off special. Yet the prospect of this appears to have been nixed by the series’ creators.
Sitcoms such as Will & Grace and Roseanne [later becoming The Connors] were revived in recent years to much fanfare, and Frasier is the latest said to be going through a reboot.
Yet Friends seems destined to be left as it was, in 2004, with only reruns keeping the fans satiated.