Gilmore Girls was guest star Adam Shapiro’s big break. His first professional job, after landing a role on The Andy Dick Show as an intern, Shapiro has worked steadily ever since. Gilmore Girls was also his biggest celebrity encounter, and not the cast of the show. The filming of Gilmore Girls overlapped with NBC megahit Friends, and Shapiro met the Friends stars via Gilmore Girls.
Shapiro was a guest on Scott Patterson’s I Am All In podcast on Nov. 16. Even though he only had one line on Gilmore Girls, Shapiro had many stories. Here’s the one about how he met the cast of Friends.
Adam Shapiro met the producer of ‘Friends’ at a holiday dinner
Moving to any new city can be tough, but especially L.A. When Shapiro was just getting settled in, he attended a dinner at the home of Friends co-creator Marta Kaufman.
“I had gone to a Passover seder,” Shapiro said on I Am All In. “It was my first passover seder in Los Angeles. And it was at Marta Kaufman’s house, who we all know is the creator and producer of Friends. I went with some family friends of mine who were like, ‘Oh, you should come to our seder.’ And it just happened to be at Marta’s house and it happened to be one of the coolest things, to date, that I’ve been to because it was just such an amazing group of people. She said to me, ‘Hey, if you’re ever on the Warner Bros. lot, come over to Friends and say hi.’”
Both ‘Gilmore Girls’ and ‘Friends’ filmed on the Warner Bros. lot
Friends created Central Perk and the two main apartments on the Warner Bros. lot. Gilmore Girls created Stars Hollow at Warner Bros. too. Even when Rory (Alexis Bledel) was at Yale, they built college sets on the Warner Bros. lot. So that’s where Shapiro found himself.
“Now, like, 20 years later, I don’t know if she meant to knock on the door at Friends the moment I was on the Warner Bros. lot and ask for her but that’s what I did,” Shapiro said. “So we broke for lunch at Gilmore Girls and I walked to the Friends stage and I knocked on the door. This was like the peak of Friends insanity and a big security guard came out and was like, ‘Who are you?’ I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m Adam Shapiro. Marta invited me to just come on by any time I was on the Warner Bros. lot.’ He got all the way to Marta and they were like, ‘Yup, come on in.’”
Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer welcomed Shapiro.
“And I walk in and I walk through the backstage area and I go through a door and I’m sitting in Central Perk on a couch with the entire cast in rehearsals,” Shapiro said. “And Marta comes out and says hi and introduces me to the whole cast. I was just like this is my first day on a TV show and now I’m on another set and it’s Friends and I’m in the middle of the cast and I’m on stage. It was such a ridiculously impactful day for me. I couldn’t believe my luck. I had a line on a TV show and I was on stage in Friends.”
He still shouldn’t have left the ‘Gilmore Girls’ set though
When Shapiro got back from lunch he realized he’d still made a faux pas.
I also learned a very important lesson that actors need to eat first and eat quickly so they could get back into hair and makeup and be ready once the crew’s done their lunches. I kind of f***ed all that up because I was at Friends the whole lunch and I came back like oh, now I can get lunch and they were like, ‘That’s not how lunch works, man. When it’s lunchtime, you get out of whatever you’re going to stay in, you move on and get lunch. If there’s a huge line of crew guys, they put you in the front.’ I’m always like, ‘No, no, no, don’t put me in the front.’ They’re like, ‘We’re not putting you in the front because we think you’re so special. We’re putting you at the front of the line because we gotta get you in and out.’”
Adam Shapiro, I Am All In, 11/16/22