Freddie Prinze Jr. played Sandy on the long-running sitcom Friends for only one episode but revealed that he wasn’t the actor they had in mind for the role.
Friends fans met Sandy in the 200th episode of the sitcom titled “The One With the Male Nanny,” where he worked as Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Ross’ (David Schwimmer) “manny” for the baby daughter, Emma. Ross doesn’t approve of the idea of having a male nanny as well as Sandy’s sensitive personality. Schwimmer’s character then fires the nanny, but only after Sandy helps him get more in touch with his emotions.
“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 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.’ and I was like, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Yes, tomorrow so I’ll send you the script.'”
Prinze shared that he arrived at the set the very next day, where he had an encounter with Schwimmer.
“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,” Prinze continued. “And 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.'”
Prinze’s character, Sandy, pulled off some successful tricks to help lull Emma to sleep, one method included playing the recorder – which was something that Prinze learned to do on the spot.
“I had just learned for the last like four hours of my day there how to play ‘Greensleeves’ on the recorder because I’d never played it before. And [Schwimmer] was like, ‘I heard you practicing, man. You’re going to crush the song,'” Prinze mentioned. “I told him he shouldn’t have said that because it’s bad luck. But he was like, ‘No! You’re going to crush it.'”
Prinze successfully nailed the song. He mentioned that he was proud to play the song perfectly – even though he’s not a musically-adept person.
“I cannot play musical instruments, but I can handle the third-grade recorder. It was a very good experience and a fun time. But I do think that the Thanksgiving episodes are better than mine,” he said to Entertainment Weekly.
Prinze also touched on about his character and whether or not he has a place in the potential Friends reunion that is reportedly in the works.
“I have no idea if we’ll see Sandy in the reunion, you’d have to ask them that,” Prinze said. “I don’t know that he was a memorable enough character to make the cut. If they got someone like Paul Rudd to come back in his role so we can see what he’s been up to since then, I think that would probably be more exciting. Or if they could pull off another Brad Pitt, or a creepy Winona Ryder performance that would be great too. Those are my favorite guest stars that they brought in.”