‘Friends’ 10 Years Later: Where Are They Now? – Rolling Stone
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‘Friends’ 10 Years Later: Where Are They Now?

From Central Perk’s couch to Hollywood’s A-list: see what the stars of the hit sitcom have been up to since the show’s finale

friends Jennifer Aniston Courteney Cox Lisa Kudrow Matt LeBlanc Matthew Perry David Schwimmer

Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

It may be 10 years since the finale of Friends — titled, naturally The Last One — raked in a jaw-dropping 52.5 million viewers, but given the way it lives on in perpetual reruns and pop-cultural references, you'd hardly think it's been that long. In most areas, the show is still airing, on multiple channels, nightly in endless syndication. "The Rachel" haircut is still an accepted term at many salons, despite the fact Jennifer Aniston has since denounced the style as the ugliest style she'd ever seen. To this day, tourists still wander the streets of New York City hoping to stumble upon the infamous Greenwich-located café Central Perk (sorry, it doesn't exist – though there is one in Beijing) where six friends talked about life, love, important things like the difference between a "man bag" and a purse. (For the record: there is no difference, people.)

'Friends': Six Lives on Videotape

While hopes for a reunion show have been dashed time and again, the stars of NBC's sitcom from Stage 24 have not strayed far from Hollywood, all working – though rarely together – in films, television and even Webseries to this very day. So what has the Central Perk Six been up to? We've got some answers for you. By Charles Thorp

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The People's Choice Awards

Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani)

Ah, Joey: lady killer, momma's boy, ultimate bro. When a young Matt LeBlanc auditioned for the role of a dimwitted oversexed soap-opera star, he claimed to have had $11 to his name; now he can buy all the meatballs he desires. During the show, LeBlanc endeared himself to audiences with his looks, his charm and his foolproof pick-up line: "How you doin'?" Unfortunately, all that goodwill wasn't enough to keep his spin-off series Joey afloat for longer than two seasons. During the show's run, Matt made a few mediocre appearances on the big screen in films such as Lost In Space, Ed and Charlie's Angels, as well as a cameo in the music video for Bon Jovi's "Say It Isn't So".

But when Joey got the axe from NBC, Matt began focusing his attention behind the scenes, producing movies for other people (Jonah Hex, the TV movie The Prince)with his production company Fort Hill Productions. In 2010, Friends co-creator David Crane approached to play the most intriguing role of his career – himself, sort of – in a BBC-developed comedy called Episodes. Airing on Showtime in the U.S., the show has been renewed for a fourth season and has even won him a Golden Globe for acting — an accolade that always remained out of Joey's grasp.

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Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay)

Playing the role of the ditz-slash-ex-con Phoebe Buffay, Kudrow garnered six Emmy nominations, more than any other cast member during the show's 10-year run. Whether she was revealing another shocking tale from her past or getting the chorus of "Smelly Cat" stuck in our heads, Phoebe was undeniably the most dynamic character of the Central Perk crew. Well before the show ended, Lisa had already begun to parlay her small-screen success for the big screen, playing one half of the memorable comedy Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion (1997) and working with independent filmmaker/frequent collaborator Don Roos such Sundance-approved ensemble dramadies as The Opposite of Sex (1998) and Happy Endings (2005).

After Friends, Lisa created, produced and starred in a show about a has-been sitcom star that tries to return to show biz called The Comeback for HBO. The incredibly meta series earned her another Emmy before being yanked after one season; appropos of its name, the show has finally been granted a second season and will be "coming back" for a limited six-episode run this fall. Currently, her comedic genius is on display in the improvised Web series-turned-Showtime pickup Web Therapy, which she co-created with Roos and Scandal star Dan Bucatinsky. Every episode pairs her long-struggling character Dr. Fiona Wallice in session with starry list of guest patients like Rashida Jones, Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep.

Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Michigan Avenue Magazine

David Schwimmer (Dr. Ross Geller)

Ross Geller, aka The Divorcer, endeared himself to the world with his lovelorn pursuit for Rachel Green. The will-they-or-won't-they storyline had millions of viewers biting their nails for most of the show's run, but when it finally happened (spoiler!), it was finale gold. Professionally, David moved on quickly, voicing Melman, the hypochondriac giraffe for the animated box office smash Madagascar (2005), and returning to the stage in Neil LaBute's Some Girl(s). In 2006, Schwimmer made his Broadway debut alongside Timothy Daly in Herman Wouk's play The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.

Having honed his directorial skills on Friends (he helmed 10 episodes), Schwimmer directed superstar British comedian and Band of Brothers co-star Simon Pegg in Run, Fatboy, Run. Since then, he's only directed one other film — Trust starring Clive Owen and Catherine Keener. When he's not angering his Lower East Side neighbors by tearing down a historic house in order to build a mansion, Schwimmer has been developing other projects, including a return to the small screen as a struggling writer in ABC's comedy pilot Irreversible, based on an incredibly popular Israeli series.

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Courteney Cox (Monica Geller)

Her career began as "the girl" in Bruce Springsteen's music video for "Dancing In The Dark," inspiring jealousy in millions of New Jerseyites. That, of course, was nothing compared to the envy that New Yorkers harbored for Monica Geller's mammoth and incredibly cheap Greenwich Village apartment where the gang usually hung out post-coffee klatch. While starring in the show, Courteney had box-office success with the hit Scream franchise, where she met her future (and current ex-) husband David Arquette.

Reports surfaced that Cox's first post-Friends role was going to be Susan Mayer in Desperate Housewives; she wasn't able to accept for personal reasons and the part went to Teri Hatcher. She headlined FX's drama Dirt as scandal-seeking tabloid editor Lucy Spiller, but the show proved too intense for viewers and only lasted two seasons. In 2009, Courteney returned to comedy with her wine-fueled ABC series Cougar Town, a cult TV show on the verge of cancellation until TBS gave it a new home. Cox recently made her feaure directorial debut with Just Before I Go, which premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival.

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Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing)

Sure, none of the gang ever knew what Chandler Bing really did (for the record: Statistical Analysis and Data Reconfiguration), but everyone simply knew him as "The Funny One." When the show wrapped, Perry quickly signed on to star in Aaron Sorkin's promising, highly anticipated show-about-a-late-night-sketch-show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip; unfortunately, its competition was Tina Fey's 30 Rock, and after one season, that was all she wrote.

Though Matthew had some success on the big screen during the Friends era (notably in the Bruce Willis vehicle The Whole Nine Yards), he's focused his energies in trying to find the next big television hit. He headlined ABC's Mr. Sunshine and NBC's Go On, neither of which made it further than single series. During this same period, Perry came out about his struggle with addiction and became an advocate for sober living, making public appearances with the hope of changing prescription policy. Currently he's developing a reboot of the iconic series The Odd Couple that he will co-star in alongside Reno 911!'s Thomas Lennon. Could we BE anymore happy for him? Sorry. We couldn't help ourselves.

Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green)

Producers originally saw Aniston in the role of Monica Geller; even with hindsight being 20/20, it's clear she was meant to play the silver-spooned cheerleader Rachel Green. Rachel's road to happiness was long and messy, but Aniston herself made success seem easy when, during the final year of the show, she co-starred in the hit comedy Bruce Almighty and the Ben Stiller romcom Along Came Polly.

Of all of the Friends cast, Aniston has come closest to becoming a bona fide A-list movie star. Several high-profile films —and a personal life filled with romantic endeavors with fellow actors — have made her both glossy magazine-cover material and tabloid catnip; despite suffering several flops (The Switch; The Bounty Hunter) , she continues to be considered one of a handful of leading ladies who can help open a movie. In addition to her day job, she has lucrative partnerships with leading beauty products like Aveeno, L'Oreal and Living Proof. Lately, Aniston has been seen going through a bit of a raunch-com career rebirth, starring in more daring films like Horrible Bosses (2011) and We're the Millers (2013).