Entertainment

Malala Yousafzai Is Coming to HBO’s Friends Reunion. Wait, What?

After numerous delays, pay negotiations, and social media teases, the long-awaited Friends reunion is upon us. On Thursday, HBO Max unveiled the first trailer for the special, which reconvenes original cast members Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer for a conversation about the series on Thursday, May 27. 

It was also announced that a grab bag of celebrity guest stars are joining the festivities. There’s former Friends alumni, including Tom Selleck, who played the superbly mustached Richard; Maggie Wheeler, whose Janice turned “Oh…my…God!” into a catchphrase; and James Michael Tyler, who dutifully ran Central Perk as Gunther. Plus, several presumed famous fans are making appearances, such as Lady Gaga, Mindy Kaling, Justin Bieber, and, surprisingly, Malala Yousafzai. Her inclusion in this lineup prompts a question: is the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Pakistani activist also an avid Friends watcher?

Amidst a sea of A-list athletes, musicians, and actors, Yousafzai doesn’t have any other known ties to the hit NBC sitcom, which ran from 1994 to 2004. (Yousafzai was born in 1997.) It’s also unclear if she’ll be appearing virtually or in-person to share her thoughts on the Central Perk gang. What we do know is that the 23-year-old has expressed her need to dive into comedy series after a day tirelessly advocating for girls’ education. “Just like everybody else, I also need a break to just focus on a show like Big Bang Theory, Girlfriends or Ted Lasso,” she said on the PEOPLE Every Day podcast in March. “These are things that just keep you sort of happy for a second. It helps you just to escape from all of the problems that are there outside.”

Yousafzai will pop-up in some capacity at the Friends reunion alongside David Beckham, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, and Reese Witherspoon. Hopefully each of them will be asked a pivotal question: do they believe Ross and Rachel were really on a break?

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