Friends reunion director reveals set blunder that nearly ruined the whole show

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Friends fans were treated to a hugely emotional moment in the recent reunion special as the cast got back together – but the moment was almost ruined by a disaster with the backstage set-up.

Ben Winston, who directed Friends: The Reunion, told The Sunday Times that the big scene which saw the six main stars all come face to face for only the second time since the hit show ended in 2004 nearly didn't happen.

The director captured the actors' emotional reactions but the moment almost fell apart as their trailers had been parked right next to each other, jeopardising the recording.

He said: "I was so upset. The point of the show is they haven't seen each other. But it was too late to move them."

Ben had to think quickly and draw on his previous experience of problem solving to avert the disaster.

He said: "We built tents around each of their doorways. And I texted the six of them and said, ‘Look, I know you want to see each other but I'm begging you: please stay in your own dressing room until you're called to the stage. I really want to catch that moment.'"

Luckily, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc agreed to keep away from each other, despite the fact they were itching to catch up.

Ben said: "They mocked me for wanting that moment. But they did do what I asked. And you do get the feeling that they haven't seen each other for ages. And it's a really beautiful moment. I've never seen a bond like these six have."

The six main stars had only met up together all at the same time once since the 10-season show's end in 2004, and many of them were in tears as they reunited on a recreation of the Friends set.

Ben also spoke about convincing the actors – who have said they'll never do another episode of Friends – to take part in the reunion, saying that while there is "no leader" of the group, David Schwimmer was the most involved in the reunion's production.

He said: "He was the one I had to win over first. He heard my ideas and then vouched for me."

The director then went to Lisa Kudrow's house, where Courteney Cox and Matt LeBlanc had been invited too, and signed Matthew Perry up over a video call with Jennifer Aniston, the last to confirm that she would take part.

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