Anyone who is an avid Friends fan will remember the scene when Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston, tried to ‘woo’ her crush Josh, played by Tate Donovan, by popping on her cheerleading uniform. Because of course.
But what the audience never knew about those six episodes where Josh played Rachel’s love interest was the difficult situation happening in real life between Aniston and Donovan.
The two had in fact been in a long-term relationship prior to him guest appearing, but were in the process of breaking up at the same time he was scheduled to go on the sitcom.
Needless to say, it was a recipe for a painful situation.
Speaking to US Weekly recently, Tate Donovan opened up about the hidden agony behind these episodes.
"I was just happy to be on the team [of Friends]. The only bummer was Jennifer and I were breaking up at the time," Donovan told the publication.
"And so that was tricky to sort of act, and act like we are just meeting each other, and falling in love, or whatever, interested in each other, when we’re sort of breaking up. That was just tough."
Donovan went on to reveal that he was in fact supposed to act on the show for longer, however, his time was cut short due to the distressing circumstances.
"It was just six episodes. I mean, only because we were breaking up. We were like, ‘Hey, can we not keep doing this? Cause this is really painful and tough'," the now 54-year-old actor recalled.
Those that watched the episodes will remember that on the show, Rachel eventually scared Josh away by being over-keen and encouraging that the pair get married.
But as for the staff and co-stars who were privy to their break-up, Donovan explained everyone was more than supportive.
"The good thing that came out of it was that everyone was really cool about it, and really as helpful as they could be. In other words, they were just compassionate, very compassionate about the whole breakup."
"It was really ultimately a great experience of how people can treat you really well, and you still do your job even though you’re sort of dying inside."