Matthew Perry wrote Julia Roberts a physics essay to get her to appear on Friends

Emily Gulla
·2-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Friends has blessed us with many celeb guest stars over the years, from Brad Pitt to George Clooney, and of course Julia Roberts. But the story of how Julia got the role (which led to her dating Matthew Perry) is about as bizarre as the show itself.

Cast your mind back and you'll remember that Julia appeared in season two of the sitcom, playing Susie Moss in 'The One After the Superbowl' in 1996. Julia starred as Chandler's former classmate, but it turns out she and Matthew Perry had some pretty flirty chemistry going on between them before she'd even stepped foot on set.

According to the show's creators, Matthew asked Julia to be on the show, with the Pretty Woman star responding by asking Matthew to write her a paper on quantum physics in exchange for her accepting the role.

Despite the slightly random request, it turns out Matthew did indeed write the paper, and Julia appeared on the show!

Plus, the physics essay reportedly kickstarted a load more old-school flirting over fax, with the pair going on to briefly date following the show.

Photo credit: Friends
Photo credit: Friends

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Friends executive producer Kevin Bright revealed, "Do you know the story of how we got her [Julia]? Matthew asked her to be on the show. 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."

Staff writer Alexa Junge continued, adding that the crew even chipped in to help the pair get together. "They may have met before the episode, but she was interested in him from afar because he’s so charming," Junge explained.

"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."

One of the show's co-writer's Jeff Astrof added, "I remember standing with her [Julia] on the sidelines. 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."

Well, a physics essay might be a bizarre way to flirt, but it certainly had a happy ending for these two! Not sure we'd recommend trying it yourself though...

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