Matthew Perry went the extra mile to convince Julia Roberts to star in the 1996 post-Super Bowl hour-long episode of Friends.

"Matthew asked her to be on the show," the executive producer Kevin Bright told The Hollywood Reporter. "She wrote back to him, 'Write me a paper on quantum physics and I'll do it.' My understanding is that Matthew went away and wrote a paper and faxed it to her the next day."

Friends cast: Courtney Cox-Arquette with Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer.
Friends cast: Courtney Cox-Arquette with Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer.

The Hollywood Reporter interviewed the producers, writers and staff of the hit show ahead of its new reboot regarding the epic episode that guest starred Roberts, Brooke Shields, Chris Isaak, Jean Claude van Damme and revealed Perry went the extra mile to land the Oscar winner.

Roberts and Perry hit it off over fax.

They may have met before the episode, but she was interested in him from afar because he's so charming," staff writer Alexa Junge said. "There was a lot of flirting over faxing. She was giving him these questionnaires like, 'Why should I go out with you?' And everyone in the writers room helped him explain to her why. He could do pretty well without us, but there was no question we were on Team Matthew and trying to make it happen for him."

Apparently, the extra help worked. During shooting, co-writer, Jeff Astrof recalled: "She kept saying, 'Chandler's so funny!' And I'm like, 'I wrote every one of those lines!' I don't know if she fell in love with Matthew on the spot but they soon started dating. I felt like Cyrano [de Bergerac]. Like, 'Chandler is going to date Julia Roberts and I'm going to go home to my horrible girlfriend.'"

Julia Roberts with Matthew Perry.
Julia Roberts with Matthew Perry.

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Meanwhile, Brooke Shields didn't have such a pleasant experience, thanks to her then-boyfriend (whom she'd later marry) Andre Agassi.

The director Michael Lembeck told The Hollywood Reporter the tennis ace got particularly upset over a scene in which Shields licked Matt LeBlanc's fingers.

"Brooke was with Andre Agassi at the time," Lembeck recalled. "He shows up on shoot night and sits in the audience with the largest hamburger bodyguard. She does the scene where she starts licking Matt's hand. Then I see him come down, pull Brooke aside and eviscerate her because he's crazy-jealous. She's reduced to tears! I broke the show for awhile, and the girls took Brooke aside and loved her, took care of her and got her back on that stage. She did great because of the support of those three. He was a jackass."

Brooke Shields on Friends.
Brooke Shields on Friends.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

 

Originally published as Julia's demand before starring on Friends



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