In the long list of celebrated Friends side characters, there are a healthy handful that tend to rub fans the wrong way for one reason or another. In the case of Mitchell Whitfield's Barry, Rachel's fiancée who was left at the altar, it was the philandering and dishonesty that many fans grew to despise. Especially after seeing him mess things up 400 times in reruns.
Though he was only in six of Friends' 236 episodes, actor Mitchell Whitfield still gets a lot of love, so to speak, for his time as Barry. Some of the admiration and appreciation isn't so much for his acting, however, as for smooching one of his more delectable co-stars. (No, not Marcel the monkey!) Here, Whitfield talks about the awkwardness of having to answer questions about kissing Jennifer Aniston for a scene many years earlier. In his words:
I have guys for years who would ask me, ‘Dude, you kissed Jennifer Aniston. What was that like, dude?’ And they actually would ask it like that, which was awkward, too. And I was like, ‘Well, imagine kissing someone you know, that you've known for a long time, that you're just friends with, in front of about 200 people when it's about 120 degrees with a bunch of cameras on you, and I think it always ruins it. ‘Oh, man. I wanted to hear it was great.’ I was like, ‘OK. It was great.’ You don't know what to say in those times.
Is it wrong to assume that if Barry Farber himself were a real person, that he would have been one of the curious minds who would have asked about kissing Jennifer Aniston? Is anyone ever wrong when making assumptions about what fictional characters would do? Because I also assume that Joey was licking the inside of that giant turkey when he put it on his head for the Thanksgiving episode. But that's neither here nor there.
In the scheme of things, Barry and Rachel's kiss was a microcosm of their entire relationship on Friends. It likely shouldn't have happened in the first place, it involved him cheating, and it ended with Rachel embarrassed and put into an unenviable position. In case anyone forgot what that kiss looked like...
It's a wonder how Barry kept his practice, or at least that specific office, with all the non-hygienic acts going on in there. I mean, they had sex in there not long before. I bet if Barry opened up a sex shop on the side, he would try and do dental surgery in it.
Speaking with Today about his time on Friends, Mitchell Whitfield defended his character against some of the harsher criticism that were laid against Barry over the years. In his words:
I didn't think he was that bad of a guy. But I look back and, yeah, he got ditched at the altar. And maybe he had a wandering eye in a couple of episodes and couldn't decide which of the friends he liked better. Maybe he was a little bit of a jerk. But let's just call him misunderstood and still looking for love in all the wrong places.
That's just the kind of thing Barry would say, isn't it?
Jennifer Aniston has been doing her own press recently, as she's co-starring opposite Adam Sandler in the apparently popular Netflix feature Murder Mystery. And for any Friends fans out there who keep endlessly hoping for the show to making some kind of a return, the actress claimed that she and the other cast members would likely be down for it. Which isn't to say it's ever going to happen, but at least she didn't play the "We're all older and no one would care" card. People care!
Friends fans can keep watching the NBC hit on Netflix for now, with the show likely changing streaming services at some point when the WarnerMedia streaming platform is in full swing. While gearing up for the rest of Summer TV 2019, let us know what your thoughts are on Barry and his womanizing ways.