Tom Selleck Says He Was ‘Scared to Death’ to Guest Star on ‘Friends’: Here’s Why

by Caitlin Berard
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Throughout the series’ 10-season run, each member of the iconic Friends gang went through their fair share of memorable love interests. From Janice to Emily to Tag to David, most of the newcomers to the group didn’t last long, but some became fan-favorites in just a few episodes. One of the most beloved relationships on Friends, however, is that between Monica (Courteney Cox) and Dr. Richard Burke (Tom Selleck).

Though Richard was much older than Monica, the two had a fantastic relationship that only ended because Monica wanted children and Richard believed those years were behind him. Richard eventually came around to the idea, but it was too late. Monica was already with Chandler, the man she would go on to marry.

A highly skilled actor, Tom Selleck’s performance of Richard Burke appeared to be effortless from the very beginning. Behind the scenes, however, things weren’t so smooth at first. In an interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Tom Selleck revealed that, in reality, he was terrified.

“I was scared to death,” Selleck recalled. “I had done Taxi a long time before, but I hadn’t done a sitcom.”

Kelly Clarkson said (and most Friends fans would agree) that Tom Selleck was “amazing” on the show. Though Selleck didn’t disagree with her, he added that he “wasn’t amazing at what they call the table read.”

Tom Selleck Calls ‘Friends’ Cast an ‘Incredible Group’

If the Friends table read truly went as poorly as Tom Selleck recalled, the disappointing rehearsal certainly didn’t show through in the finished product. Dr. Richard Burke won the hearts of fans while winning Monica’s and became one of the most celebrated love interests on the show.

Tom Selleck said that he was “really nervous,” but the cast helped him feel at home. Courteney Cox, specifically, was a big reason for his eventual comfort. “Courteney’s a big help,” Selleck said.

As far as the camaraderie Friends fans sense while watching the show, Selleck says it’s 100% genuine. “That group is just an incredible group of friends,” Selleck shared. “They obviously became friends in life as well as on the show, and it shows.”

Though Selleck was only slated for three episodes, his character was such a hit with fans that producers expanded his role a further six episodes. “It was a wonderful place to work,” Selleck gushed. “And we ended up doing about nine (episodes).”

Selleck obviously enjoyed his time on Friends, and the rest of the cast appreciated working with him as well. In an interview on the YouTube show Hot Ones, Courteney Cox was asked about her favorite love interests on the series. The Friends star said that “Tom Selleck was the nicest. And the tallest.”

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