Friends forever for Gunther

Friends forever for Gunther
Television still: Friends starring (from left) Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry

8 QUESTIONS WITH James Michael Tyler

James Michael Tyler, who plays Gunther, the cafe barista in Friends, does not mind being remembered just for that role.

Actor James Michael Tyler is best known to TV viewers around the world as Gunther, his most famous role - the cafe barista in the now iconic series Friends (1994 - 2004).

The character, though just a recurring cameo, was memorable for his socially awkward behaviour, bleached platinum blond hair and hilariously unrequited love for one of the show's leads, Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston.

Appearing in 148 of Friends' total of 236 episodes, he did not have many lines but quickly became a fan favourite.

Tyler, 51, has no issues with living in the character's shadow. In a telephone interview with Life! from his home in Los Angeles, he says: "That's always a question - if it is worth it in the long run to have such a role. But I have no regrets whatsoever.

"I was a minor character on a major show, and if I get called Gunther forever, that's fine with me."

He was fielding media interviews to promote the Blu-ray edition of Friends: The Complete Series, now available in stores.

The sitcom Friends, about a group of six 20something pals living in New York City, was wildly popular during its 10-year run and continues in syndication worldwide today. It also made huge stars of its main cast, which included Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Lisa Kudrow.

Tyler has not managed to snag a bigger part than Gunther following the end of Friends. Though he played a string of supporting roles on shows, including medical comedy Scrubs in 2005 and teen sitcom Sabrina The Teenage Witch in 2001, none was particularly memorable.

It is a situation he has come to terms with.

"Dwelling on that sort of thing limits me further. Some people just put too much emphasis on subjects like that. Accepting whatever it is just makes things a lot easier."

Outside of acting, he keeps himself busy with different projects, such as writing music and screenplays.

He is married to a personal trainer and they have no children.

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