The Friends reunion special is nearly here, and PEOPLE Magazine has published some photos and behind-the-scenes interviews about the long-awaited production. The six main cast members of Friends are reuniting for a one-time event along with some of the show's creators in a new special for HBO Max. The special premieres on Thursday, May 27, but fans are getting a sneak peek now in the meantime.
PEOPLE published a few photos from the Friends reunion special in its new issue and on social media. The outlet also shared some interviews with the cast and crew that are giving fans their first glimpse of the re-created set, and the six friends back together again. It includes some snapshots that mimic iconic scenes from the original series, and as much easy, laid-back joking as you'd expect from Monica (Courteney Cox), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Chandler (Matthew Perry), Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Ross (David Schwimmer).
All six came together on Stage 24 at Warner Bros. studios for the first time in 17 years to reflect on their enormous legacy in the world of sitcoms. They revisited sets including Joey and Chandler's apartment, Monica and Rachel's apartment and the Central Perk coffee shop — all recreated in painstaking detail.
"I was flooded with 10 years of irreplaceable memories," Cox said of the nostalgic experience. LeBlanc added: "It's funny, when we do get together, it's like no time has passed." Aniston wondered: "Oh God, how are we going to get through this alive, without just crying our faces off?" and LeBlanc agreed: "It was kind of melancholy, I guess. Right?"
"Yeah, emotional," Kudrow said. All six took guesses about where their characters would be today if the show had continued. Aniston imagined Rachel creating her own clothing line, while Cox imagined Monica would be the "competitive" and "annoying" head of her children's local PTA. Kudrow said that Phoebe would likely have gone suburban and nurtured her own children in the way she was never cared for.
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LeBlanc joked that Joey would have opened a chain of sandwich shops "and eaten all the sandwiches," while Perry said that Chandler "would be a wonderful father. And a wonderful comedy writer." Schwimmer guessed that Ross would "would've invested in Joey's sandwich shop and lost a lot of his savings for his kids." However, he imagined his character would still be following his passion as a paleontologist as well.
Friends is one of the most popular sitcoms of its era, and one of the most-binged shows in the age of streaming. Fans rioted so hard on social media when Netflix first threatened to remove the show that the streamer paid an exorbitant licensing fee to secure it for another year. After that, Warner Bros. called it home to HBO Max, where it remains a huge draw for subscribers.
Friends: The Reunion is sure to be the same. It premieres on Thursday, May 27 on HBO Max.