How the Friends Cast Has Stayed Close for 25 Years: 'They Have Really Leaned on Each Other'

"The fact that they have been there for each other in happy and in sad times, says a lot," says a show source of the Friends costars

Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay
Photo: NBC/Getty Images

It’s been 15 years since the series finale of Friends after 10 iconic seasons, but when its costars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry reunite, no one misses a beat.

Thanks to diverging schedules and different home bases, a recent October get-together at Cox’s Malibu home took “a lot of planning,” an insider tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue. (A group photo from the dinner later became Aniston’s first-ever Instagram post, which briefly broke the social media platform.)

“It wasn’t spontaneous,” the insider continues. “But they had the most fantastic dinner. There was a lot of laughing and hugs. You would think they see each other all the time.”

Indeed, the cast of mostly unknowns when the show premiered in 1994 quickly bonded and provided each other support through relationships, family and navigating the intensity of newfound fame.

“They were truly friends,” the insider says. “There was no behind-the-scenes drama. They all had the same goal.”

Cox, Aniston and Kudrow have been particularly close, as Cox and Aniston supported each other through their respective divorces. Cox, 55, was married to David Arquette (who appeared in a Friends episode as a stalker) from 1999-2013, and Aniston, 50, weathered high-profile splits from Brad Pitt (who also made a memorable Thanksgiving episode cameo) in 2005 and Justin Theroux in 2017.

Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow
From left: Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow. NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

“They have really leaned on each other,” the insider of the cast. A show source adds that even when the former costars are separated, “They follow each other’s lives. The fact that they have been there for each other in happy and in sad times says a lot.”

  • For more on Friends, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE
Courteney Cox, Jennifer Anison, Lisa Kudrow

As for a much-anticipated on-screen reunion, multiple sources confirm that a special is in the works for WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max.

“The details are very secretive,” an insider says. “But they are aware how much the fans would love a reunion. Hopefully it will happen!”

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