Throughout all 10 seasons of Friends, fans of Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) and Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) were inflicted with several nasty cases of whiplash as the characters would come this close to finally living as lobsters before being dragged apart by other love interests, bad timing, and/or their own poor decisions.
One of the earliest incidences of this came at the beginning of the second season when Rachel finally found out about Ross' feelings for her and decided she reciprocated that affection, only to discover that he'd actually taken up company with a woman he reconnected with during an excavation effort in China.
That woman was Julie, and the actress portraying her was Lauren Tom. Tom is one of the 10 major Friends guest stars featured in a new profile for Today, and her contribution stands out from the crowd due to the terrible treatment she received during production on her episodes.
In the piece, Tom said that the studio audience would give her a hard time during filming on Friends because of how much they disliked her character.
"I wasn't prepared for the amount of venom I was about to receive in a live audience where they actually booed my character," she said. "And, of course, I was trying very hard not to get my feelings hurt. So I had to get used to that. But I did understand intellectually that, you know, the audience was meant to be rooting for Rachel. Even I was rooting for Rachel, on some level, 'cause I was a fan of the show."
Tom wasn't the only recurring guest star on the show who caught some flak for their character getting in the way of Ross and Rachel. Actor Mitchell Whitfield, who portrayed Barry "the orthodontist guy" still has to hear about how much people didn't like his character.
"People still stop me about Friends and Barry," he told Today. "Like, 'Oh, you're the jerk on Friends."
Whitfield, however, thinks Barry has just been misunderstood by audiences. "I look back and, yeah, he got ditched at the altar. And maybe he had a wandering eye in a couple of episodes and couldn't decide which of the friends he liked better. Maybe he was a little bit of a jerk. But let's just call him misunderstood and still looking for love in all the wrong places," he said.
Friends is currently available for streaming on Netflix.