Tom Hanks was first choice to play Sandy in 'Friends'

Julia Hunt
Tom Hanks arrives at the Governors Awards on in 2019 at the Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Freddie Prinze Jr has revealed he was not the first choice to play Sandy in Friends – Tom Hanks was.

The actor portrayed Ross and Rachel’s male nanny in the ninth series of the smash hit show, turning up to look after their baby Emma and impressing everyone with his finger puppets and freshly-baked madeleines.

But it turns out the actor only snagged the part because Hollywood heavyweight Hanks couldn’t make it because of a movie role.

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Prinze Jr told Entertainment Weekly: “I wasn’t even supposed to be [Sandy], that was originally offered to Tom Hanks but he wasn’t going to make it back from his film on time.

“And so my agent called me and said, ‘Do you want to be on Friends? And I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do an episode of Friends. That’ll be great’.”

Freddie Prinze Jr 24, participates in a panel discussion at the FOX Television Critics Association winter press tour in 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

However, the actor had a shock when his agent told him that the role started shooting the very next day, so he had less than 24 hours to get ready.

He told the publication he was “totally nervous” when he turned up to get started, but that David Schwimmer, who played Ross, put him at ease by assuring him it would be “a ton of fun”.

Earlier this month it was reported that a Friends reunion TV special featuring all six members of the original cast was in the pipeline.

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Fans have been calling for some sort of reboot for years.

Then last month Jennifer Aniston admitted that she and co-stars Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow and Schwimmer were “working on something” as the hit sitcom celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The Hollywood Reporter has now said the original cast and Friends creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman are “in talks” to reunite on upcoming on-demand service HBO Max.