'Friends' Cast Members Talk to '20/20'

The laughs will mix with tears for the many fans of Friends on May 6, a day that will live in television history as it marks the farewell episode of the long-running series.

The premise was simple and timely: Six young people start life away from their own families and form a new family, with friends.

Since the show premiered on Sept. 22, 1994, Friends has never been out of the top 10, and the cast members are now household names.

So what is the secret of the show's success?

"I think that we have an amazing group of writers," Courteney Cox Arquette told Barbara Walters. "And there's a cast that, that really sticks together."

She said while the whole cast is close knit it's "crazy" how much the girls love each other. "We really see each other all the time. I mean, we eat lunch together at work everyday," said Arquette.

She might not be as eager to hang out with her character, Monica, admitting she gets tired of her cleanliness and organization. "She can annoy me pretty bad. I mean, she's, she's just, she's funny, I like the way she is really quirky with things, but no, I don't get excited about label makers or, you know, no."

Fellow cast-member Matt LeBlanc told ABCNEWS people often confuse him for his character, Joey, the struggling actor who can be a little dense. "When I meet people for the first time, they'll talk a little slower to me, and I get a kick out of it," said LeBlanc.

Secret to Their Financial Success

The long-standing hit has made millionaires out of the young cast.

For the final season of Friends the actors joined forces and negotiated the highest salary ever paid to a television ensemble: $1 million per episode.

"It's great that we stuck together, because that way no one gets their feelings hurt, no one's making more than the other," said Arquette. "We're a team and that's what we are."

As LeBlanc explained it, David Schwimmer decided they should unite in their negotiations. "He initiated the idea that if we all stick together, nobody can rattle us … it worked out really good," said LeBlanc. "For me personally, I was like, yeah that sounds good for me. I'm making the least amount. So sure, I'll take a raise!"

They remained resolute despite pressure from the studio. "I'll leave the names out, but the studio or the network tried to really beat up on one person and the other five, myself included, we all really wrangled around. And we walked out, a couple times.

"I remember leaving the stage, and Marta Kaufman, my boss, saying, 'where are you going?' … I said, 'I gotta go. Everyone's leaving … I love ya, but I gotta go' … and she understood and, you know, the next day we were back," said LeBlanc.

'Pretty Hard Day'

The finale will air in May, but for cast members the work is already complete.

They taped the last episode Jan. 23 in what LeBlanc described as a "pretty hard day to get through." The five-some had a tradition of huddling backstage before filming each episode, and struggled a bit before that last hug.

"We all have our arms around each other … this particular time, no one really knew what to say," said LeBlanc.

"I think it was Lisa Kudrow … that started to cry first," said LeBlanc."I looked at Jen [Aniston] and Courteney, and they were visibly upset. And then I looked at Schwimmer who is kind of a rock emotionally. He's really the consummate professional. He's … he's great. And David was visibly really upset … and I just lost it.

"And then all of us had to go back to makeup and get re-made up," said LeBlanc.

He said Aniston was the most emotional in the end and described the star as a "giant heart with a head, with feet"

Awaiting the Big Broadcast

The last season of Friends brought a wedding for Phoebe, and both potential parenthood for Monica and Chandler and an overseas job opportunity for Rachel.

With just two more episodes to go, Friends fever has never been more intense. Thousands of loyal fans are planning parties around the finale, and the original gang will be among those watching on that Thursday night. "We'll watch it together," said LeBlanc.

So how will it end?

Will Monica and Chandler have a baby? Will Joey move to L.A.? Will Rachel and Ross end up together? Fans will have to wait and see, but you can vote now and tell us what you expect: How Will it End?

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