TV Article

Bearing Up

Here's what the cast of ''Friends'' is up to this week. Oprah visits Central Perk, and Aniston gets grizzly

Friends, Jennifer Aniston | BEAR WITH ME Aniston gets some new ''Friends'' thanks to the Animal Planet
Image credit: Jennifer Aniston: Danny Feld for NBC
BEAR WITH ME Aniston gets some new ''Friends'' thanks to the Animal Planet

WHOLE LATTE LOVE Here's how much clout ''Friends'' still has: when Oprah Winfrey wants to interview the cast, she comes to them. She chatted up the sextet on the Central Perk set for last Wednesday's episode of her daytime show, the first of what will undoubtedly be a parade of televised ''farewell'' interviews with the cast. What do they still have left to reveal? Well, the cast unanimously considers Matthew Perry the ''class clown'' (''I think he may be the funniest person I've ever met,'' said Courteney Cox), while Jennifer Aniston is the most emotional. ''Jennifer is one big throbbing heart,'' Lisa Kudrow said of Aniston, who was reduced to tears by her castmates' compliments. ''She's all emotion, feeling and support. Even if you were to say that you'd accidentally killed someone, she's reply, 'Honey, it's not your fault.'''

Kudrow called the other five trustworthy and dependable but singled out Matt LeBlanc, though LeBlanc said he felt disloyal to the others for planning his own solo spinoff sitcom, ''Joey,'' for next year. ''I feel kind of betraying, I feel afraid. It's like, 'You guys are coming, right?''' he said. ''I had a funny pitch for the title. It was called, 'Where the Hell Is Everybody?' That didn't fly.''

DANCES WITH BEARS Aniston made some new friends in the Pacific Northwest, two adolescents who have slightly better grooming and eating habits than Joey. They're Bart and Honey-Bump, two young bears who frolic with Aniston in Animal Planet's upcoming special ''Growing Up Grizzly 2.'' Aniston was introduced to the ursine siblings, orphaned as cubs when a hunter killed their mother, by her husband, who starred in the first ''Growing Up Grizzly.'' (Pitt, in turn, met the bears through animal trainers and preservationists Doug and Lynne Seus, who taught him how to wrestle a bear in ''Legends of the Fall.'') ''I thought to myself, why should my husband have all the fun?'' Aniston said in a statement. The one-hour special airs January 18.

Aniston isn't the only Friend paying a visit to the cable wilderness. Motocross fan LeBlanc will interview several of the sport's top racers and show them in action throughout the four-part series ''The 5 Coolest Things.'' The show will air on Saturday nights at 9:30 on the Discovery Home & Leisure channel, starting Nov. 29.

Originally posted Nov 26, 2003