Friends Fans Are Just Discovering James Michael Tyler Was Only Supposed To Be In A Few Episodes
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Yep, that's right. Actor James Michael Tyler who played the hapless character sadly died on Sunday, but it's only now that fans are finding out that he wasn't meant to appear in the full run of the show.
Though the character eventually played a pivotal part in the show's 10-year run and was finally able to declare his love for Rachel in the show's finale, Gunther was only meant to appear as a barista in the background of a few episodes.
But, after impressing the show's creators, James Michael Tyler was kept on simply because he knew how to use a coffee machine.
In a Reddit thread titled 'Today I learned', one Redditer posted: "TIL James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther the barista on 'Friends' was originally meant to only appear as an extra; he remained on the show as he was the only actor there who knew how to operate an espresso machine."
The Redditer linked to an article which originally appeared on Digital Spy where the actor revealed how his unique talent had gotten him the job on Friends.
As the journalist asked: "You got the job in the first place because you can work an espresso machine - did you ever think it would lead to that much of a character?", James replied: "You know, I honestly always thought my Masters in fine arts would get me further in the acting world than knowing how to work an espresso machine! That was a happy accident and I'm very, very grateful to have had that skill."
In the same interview, from 2014, the actor also revealed that his choice of hair colour - which Rachel refers to as "brighter than the sun" was a happy accident, revealing that he'd had it dyed the day before he joined the show.
He added: "I have a friend who wanted to practise on my head because they wanted to be a stylist. So I offered what hair I had left to turn white. That was a happy coincidence!"
However, the actor eventually ditched his bleached locks, as the upkeep was just too much.
He added: "I had to bleach my hair every week for 10 years - that's a bit much. So I wouldn't recommend it. However, it was quite necessary and it definitely completed the character."
All 10 series of Friends are available to watch on Netflix.