Pop Culture

Life after ‘Friends’: Where are they now?

It’s only been a little over two years since “Friends” said farewell, but it certainly seems like a lot longer than that. In that time, the six main cast members have been quite busy with other projects. They may be gone from “Friends,” but these talented actors have made sure that they’re not forgotten. Here’s the scoop on what these “Friends” have been up to since 2004.

Jennifer Aniston (“Rachel”) has without a doubt been the most high-profile member of the cast in the last two years, especially with regards to her personal life. It’s her on-screen work, though, that truly makes her a star. Aniston has starred in four feature films — “Derailed,” “Rumor Has It,” “Friends With Money” and the recent blockbuster “The Break-Up” with Vince Vaughn. She’s rumored to be attached to at least three upcoming films, including “Gambit” (written by Ethan Coen), “The Senator’s Wife” and “Wanted” with Meryl Streep. Since these films are still in the pre-production stage, it could be a little while before we see Aniston on the big screen again, but she’s co-directing a short film called “Room 10” in the meantime. The film stars Kris Kristofferson and Robin Wright Penn, and marks Aniston’s first time directing. It’s part of a collection of shorts in the “Reel Moments” series, a Glamour magazine project that dramatizes stories contributed by readers.

Courteney Cox (“Monica”) has come a long way since she “danced in the dark” with Bruce Springsteen; she was a regularly working actress in Hollywood even before “Friends” came along. Since the show ended, she’s continued that working streak, supplying the voice to Daisy the Cow in “Barnyard” along with on-screen roles in the films “The Longest Yard” and “Zoom,” this past year alone. She’s also logged time behind the scenes, producing a pilot for UPN called “Talk Show Diaries” and the comedy series “Daisy Does America” for TBS. Her next big project is a new series for FX called “Dirt,” about the madcap world of entertainment journalism (something Access Hollywood staffers eagerly await!). She will star in the show as a tabloid editor, as well as serve as co-executive producer alongside her husband of seven years, David Arquette. When asked by our own Billy Bush what drew Courteney to the role, she said “I had no intentions of being in the show. I just love the story and the idea — found a great writer who created these wonderful characters, and I read it and I said I had to do it. It’s a very sexy, salacious, dirty, terrible person. I just think she will be really fun to play… she goes out there and is ruthless.”

Lisa Kudrow (“Phoebe”) was recently nominated for an Emmy for her multi-layered performance as fictional reality show star Valerie Cherish in the HBO series “The Comeback,” for which she also served as co-creator, writer and producer. “The Comeback” attracted a small (but fiercely loyal) audience who cringed as they laughed watching Kudrow’s turn as a washed-up actress trying to make a comeback in Hollywood. The critically acclaimed series had a 13-episode run on HBO, but was not renewed. Since “Friends,” Kudrow has starred in the independent film “Happy Endings” with Jesse Bradford and Maggie Gyllenhaal, along with lending her voice to several episodes of NBC’s cancelled “Father Of The Pride.” Her next performance is in the upcoming film “Kabluey,” which reunites her with her on-screen mom on “Friends,” Teri Garr.

Matt LeBlanc (“Joey”) also took the television series route when “Friends” ended, but he didn’t stray far from the role he’d had for 10 years — in fact, he simply continued to play it. “Joey” was a spin-off of “Friends,” which featured LeBlanc’s character, Joey Tribbiani, leaving his friends in New York to try to make it big in Hollywood. While the series showed initial promise, it was hard for viewers to commit to watching the Joey character without his familiar friends there to back him up, and ratings began to dwindle. Rumors of former “friends” dropping by in guest spots came up from time to time, but those rumors never bore fruit as the series was cancelled by NBC at the end of its second season. News of LeBlanc’s next project hasn’t surfaced yet.

Matthew Perry (“Chandler”) is currently starring in the NBC ensemble drama “Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip.” “Studio 60” is the brainchild of producer Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing”), and features an all-star cast playing characters who work on a “Saturday Night Live”-type TV series. Perry plays the head writer, Matt Albie, who takes on the daunting task of keeping the show fresh and the ratings up, all while contending with his ex-girlfriend and a troubled past. Sorkin has stated that he created the character of Matt Albie with Perry in mind (note the character’s first name), according to Variety. Perry also starred in the TNT made-for-television movie “The Ron Clark Story” earlier this year, and has a film coming soon called “Numb,” which is currently in the post-production stage.

David Schwimmer (“Ross”) has been busy both on the screen and on the stage since “Friends” wrapped. He starred in the independent film “Duane Hopwood” with Janeane Garofalo in 2005, and supplied the voice of Melman the Giraffe in the smash animated hit “Madagascar” that same year. He also sat in the director’s chair for two episodes of pal Matt LeBlanc’s “Joey.” Since then, he has starred in famed playwright Neil LaBute’s stage production of “Some Girls” in London’s West End, and also performed in “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” on Broadway. That Schwimmer has turned to the stage is no surprise (his pre-“Friends” list of stage credits is extensive), as he is the co-founder of the Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago. Next up for Schwimmer is a role in the comedic thriller “Big Nothing,” as well as a reprisal of Melman in “Madagascar 2.”

Your “Friends”.... continuing to be there for you.