All-Black 'Friends' Table Read: Sterling K. Brown & Ryan Michelle Bathe Were the Perfect Ross & Rachel
By Paige Gawley & Liz Calvario
It's the one with an all-new cast! Sterling K. Brown, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Uzo Aduba, Aisha Hinds, Kendrick Sampson, Jeremy Pope and Gabrielle Union teamed up for an epic table read of one of Friends' most iconic episodes on Tuesday.
During the "Zoom Where It Happens" event, the actors performed "The One Where No One's Ready." Brown played Ross, while Bathe, his real-life wife, was Rachel. Aduba portrayed Phoebe, Sampson was Joey, Pope played Chandler and Hinds interpreted Monica. Union, who appeared in a 2001 episode of Friends, hosted, while Salli Richardson-Whitfield directed. Cynthia Erivo also made an appearance, singing the Friends' theme song.
The actors brought their own signature style to each character, giving it a fresh and funny twist. From Aduba bringing out her best Phoebe to Sampson delivering the iconic line "Could I be wearing any more clothes?," it was an enjoyable table read.
Uzo is Phoebe is perfect. Ryan Michelle and Sterling as Rachel and Ross is my new fave. Aisha is CRACKING me TF up as Monica. Kendrick and Jeremy as Joey and Chandler is PERFECTION.#ZoomWhereitHappens
Meanwhile, Brown and Michelle Bathe were the perfect Ross and Rachel. The couple, who filmed together, even steamed things up with an on-camera smooch. Fans watching couldn't get enough of Brown and his rendition of Ross. Kerry Washington was definitely a fan, tweeting, "I love seeing real BLACK LOVE!!!!! Yes to @SterlingKBrown and his better half Ms Ryan @michellechel."
"We'll do it this Tuesday and [it's] a wonderful opportunity to play with Friends," she said. "Jeremy, who was nominated tonight, Sterling as well, you know, a bunch of great talents -- Ryan, my girl, Ryan. [She's] one of the people raising and elevating the conversation along this political path."
ET's Nischelle Turner also spoke with Michelle Bathe, before the table read who gushed about playing Rachel.
"I'm literally one of the biggest fans of Jennifer Aniston, on the planet…I love her, I love her, I love her," she praised. "So when I was telling people that, that we were working on it with a bunch of women, and they were like, 'Well, you should play Rachel.' I was like, 'Oh no, I couldn't.'"
She added that it was also great to do the table read with her husband as they're "in the same house. We can share a screen, so that technically made it much easier."