Tom Hanks Was Supposed to Guest Star in 'Friends,' According to Freddie Prinze Jr.

Friends featured dozens of celebrity guest stars during its run, but one star who missed the series was Tom Hanks. The two-time Oscar winner was almost on the show though, according to Freddie Prinze Jr. Prinze said Hanks was set to appear in the 200th episode, but a scheduling conflict forced him to miss it. At the last moment, Prinze came in to play the part of Sandy.

In "The One With The Male Nanny," Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Ross (David Schimmer) tried to find a male nanny for their daughter Emma. Ross was not happy with hiring a "manny" named Sandy, played by Prinze. Sandy helped Ross get more in touch with his emotions, but Ross still fired Sandy by the end of the episode.

"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," Prinze revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly this week. "And so 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.'"

Prinze said the call was so last-minute that he did not even get to attend a read-through before filming began. He was very nervous about it, but Schwimmer helped him calm down.

"David Schwimmer walked into my dressing room and he was so cool and so passionate and he had so much energy," Prinze recalled. "He came into the room and was like, 'You're going to love this, man. It's like a little two-act play and the crowd is so engaged, and so into it. You'll have a ton of fun, don't worry about a thing.'"

Prinze also had to learn how to play "Greensleeves" on a recorder at the last moment, since the script included a scene with Sandy playing the song to help Ross and Rachel's daughter sleep.

"I had just learned for the last like four hours of my day there how to play 'Greensleeves' on the recorder because I'd never played it before. And [Schwimmer] was like, 'I heard you practicing, man. You're going to crush the song,'" Prinze told EW. "I told him he shouldn't have said that because it's bad luck. But he was like, 'No! You're going to crush it.'"

Thankfully, Prinze pulled it off without a hitch. However, it did not inspire the She's All That star to launch a second career as a musician.

"I cannot play musical instruments, but I can handle the third-grade recorder," Prinze joked. "It was a very good experience and a fun time. But I do think that the Thanksgiving episodes are better than mine."

Prinze later said he had "no idea" if Sandy would appear in a reunion. After all, he only appeared in one episode.

"I don't know that he was a memorable enough character to make the cut," Prinze told EW. "If they got someone like Paul Rudd to come back in his role so we can see what he's been up to since then, I think that would probably be more exciting. Or if they could pull off another Brad Pitt, or a creepy Winona Ryder performance that would be great too. Those are my favorite guest stars that they brought in."

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There have been non-stop rumors about a Friends reunion for years, and it has only heated up thanks to reunion selfies the former castmembers often share. Back on Tuesday, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the main cast is in talks with HBO Max for an unscripted reunion special. The special could help drum up interest in WarnerMedia's new streaming service, which will become the exclusive streaming home of Friends next year.

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