Freddie Prinze Jr reveals Tom Hanks was supposed to play Sandy on Friends

The role of the male nanny - or manny - almost went to the man commonly referred to as "America's Dad"

Freddie Prinze Jr

Freddie Prinze Jr has revealed that the role he played on Friends almost went to international superstar Tom Hanks.

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Prinze Jr played Sandy in the ninth season of the iconic sitcom, a male nanny who interviews to look after Ross and Rachel’s daughter Emma.

As one of the show’s most memorable guest performances, it’s strange to think that the character was almost played by Oscar-winner Hanks.

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

“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.’ He said, ‘Yeah, it shoots tomorrow.’ I was like, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Yes, tomorrow so I’ll send you the script.'”

Despite being a late recasting, Sandy is a firm favourite among Friends fans, many of whom still aren’t happy with Ross (David Schwimmer) over his decision to fire the character purely for being a man.

Ironically, behind the scenes things couldn’t have been any more different, as Schwimmer was actually very supportive.

Prinze Jr recalled his first day on set, saying: “So I went in and I was totally nervous because it was on the day of shooting, I didn’t even get to do a read-through. David Schwimmer walked into my dressing room and he was so cool and so passionate and he had so much energy.

“He came into the room and was like, ‘You’re going to love this, man. It’s like a little two-act play and the crowd is so engaged, and so into it. You’ll have a ton of fun, don’t worry about a thing.'”

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Despite wrapping up well over a decade ago, Friends remains one of the most popular television shows in the world, with recent rumblings of a reunion special causing quite a stir on social media.