FRIENDS reunion director reveals why Paul Rudd and Cole Sprouse weren’t part of the special

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HBO Max finally released the long-awaited FRIENDS Reunion episode on Thursday. While many fans were surprised to see all the lead and guest stars who appeared on the show come together for the episode, some absences were more noticeable than others.

Paul Rudd, who played Phoebe’s boyfriend Mike Hannigan on the show, was not a part of the reunion episode. Neither was Cole Sprouse, who played Ross’s son Ben during season 7.

Also read: FRIENDS reunion: Your favourite sitcom was not always wholesome, here are 5 problematic plot lines

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Ben Winston, the director of the reunion special, has said that they could not have ‘everybody on’ due to time constraints. He told TheWrap, “Well, we couldn’t have everybody on, because it’s only an hour and 45 minutes. And you’ve got to pay attention — the main nub of the show has got to be about the six cast members,”

“So you can’t have too many cameos because of course, there were hundreds of amazing people who were in Friends over the years. Sadly, we couldn’t get everybody in.”

“You know, we did invite some people who weren’t able to make it. It’s a complicated time to be making television now because, you know, some people couldn’t fly internationally, some people were on other TV or film shoots, some people are in bubbles on stuff,” he said, speaking about the complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic in organising the shoot.

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Also read: Friends The Reunion review: A nostalgia trip meant only for die hard fans

Ben added that the most important thing was that the six lead actors, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Perry, were available. “The timing of it was incredibly difficult. So, you know, if you weren’t available on the seventh of April at 8 p.m., then, sadly, they weren’t able to be part of it. Yeah, we couldn’t get everybody in. It’s just one of those things. I hope people will think about all the great things that are in there rather than the things that aren’t,” he said.

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