Gunther is one of the most fascinating sitcom characters of all time. A huge favourite among Friends fans across the world, his unrequited love for Rachel Green (played by Jennifer Aniston) was one of the most important storylines across the show’s 10 seasons.
Yet, no one knew anything about him.
He spoke fewer words than one of Joey Tribbiani’s one night stands over the course of a decade and was rarely captured anywhere other than lurking in the back of Central Perk.
But there were once big plans for platinum blonde barrister. Friends writers Marta Kauffman and David Crane were about to make Gunther’s dreams come true and Rachel very almost moved into his apartment in an axed storyline which never was.
Thankfully, Marta and David spared Rachel from making what would have undoubtedly been her biggest mistake since Paolo.
‘It never went through but they were going to have Rachel move in with Gunther,’ actor James Michael Tyler – who was initially cast as an extra in Friends before Gunther became a surprise hit and he shot up the rankings – exclusively told Metro.co.uk.
‘I remember reading the first draft of that script and thinking, “Oh man, they’re never going to make this work.”
‘It just didn’t read, even to me. I was not ungrateful that it didn’t work. Through no fault of Jennifer or myself or the writing, it just felt contrived and everything else that happened in the series, and continues to be, was quite organic.
‘Nothing was contrived – let’s put these two people together for no reason. Everything happened naturally and I think it’s for that reason it’s still loved to this day.’
Gunther could have been living at home with his parents, still stuck with the naked cat (or what he thought was a snake) for all we know. Both seem plausible but alas that’s a mystery which will never be resolved.
‘I remember looking at Jen too and we didn’t think it was right,’ James added. ‘Whatever it was for, we didn’t need that storyline.’
James is currently in the UK celebrating 25 years of Friends with the biggest Friendsfest yet.
From taking over London’s Millennium eye to touring the iconic orange couch across the country, the UK has been just as mad for Rachel, Joey, Ross, Chandler, Phoebe and Monica this summer as they were 25 years ago.
And Friendsfest will be returning this Christmas for FriendsFestive where fans can visit The Holiday Armadillo Grotto, ring Phoebe’s bell and take a picture of Ross and Monica’s Rockin’ Eve Disco.
Friends airs daily on Comedy Central. Tickets for FriendsFestive are available here.
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