Before Ross and Rachel finally embarked on their dysfunctional relationship and “we were on a break!” became part of our pop culture lexicon, Friends fans had to welcome a new recurring character in season two: Julie, an amiable paleontologist, who dates Ross for a few episodes after reconnecting as former grad-school pals. For Ross and Rachel ‘shippers, this might have been a blip in the road to their eventual coupling, but others took Julie’s presence with a lot less tolerance. As actress Lauren Tom revealed on Today this week, people at the show’s live tapings would frequently heckle her with offensive language, solely because they believed her character wasn’t worthy of Ross.
“I wasn’t prepared for the amount of venom I was about to receive in a live audience where they actually booed my character,” she explained. “And, of course, I was trying very hard not to get my feelings hurt. So I had to get used to that. But I did understand intellectually that, you know, the audience was meant to be rooting for Rachel. Even I was rooting for Rachel, on some level, ’cause I was a fan of the show.” Interestingly, Tom believes Ross and Julie should’ve ended up together as opposed to Ross and Rachel, although she guesses Julie’s eventual boo was Russ, Ross’s doppelgänger. “We would’ve been so happy with our cats,” she joked, forgetting that those poor felines would’ve likely been subjected to frequent unagi attacks.