He is a guest star no more.
Gunther, the original and most famous barista from the 1990s, was the star and host as a real, albeit temporary, “Central Perk” from “Friends” opened in NYC’s Soho last night.
The memorabilia-laden pop-up opened to the public Wednesday. Warner Bros. Television and Consumer Products’ co-promotion will pour free coffee through October 18.
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No guarantee that James Michael Tyler (top photo, who got 148 episodes of guest star work out of his run) will be slinging brew behind the counter at 199 Lafayette Street as he was on the VIP preview night on Tuesday.
Someone who could stop in there though, is Analeigh Tipton.
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The former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant-turned actress’ new starring gig on ABC’s “Manhattan Love Story” kept her locked down in NYC and unable to make the premiere of her romantic comedy with Miles Teller, “Two Night Stand.”
Instead, director Max Nichols, co-star Jessica Szohr, and Teller brought Maurice the Monkey to stand in, take photos, and send messages to Tipton from the party at Teddy’s after the film played across the street in Theatre 1 at the TCL Chinese 6.
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The film tells the story of what happens when mother nature “walk-blocks,” as in prevents a post-hookup walk of shame by dumping a blizzard on New York City. An internet hookup becomes a “Two Night Stand.”
Tipton’s absence was a testament to the long gestation of the film that started as a Black List script and now debuts with two leads who are names.
If at the time of shooting in 2012 Teller was “this guy from the ‘Footloose’ reboot,” now he is Miles Teller from “The Spectacular Now,” “Insurgent,” the forthcoming “The Fantastic Four,” and festival hit “Whiplash.” Tipton is a network lead.
“That was all part of our evil master plan,” director Max Nichols (son of Mike Nichols, husband of CNN sports reporter Rachel Nichols) told me at the party.
“Buy low in the Miles Teller market and wait for him to appreciate,” Nichols said. “I thought at the time ‘If we’re making this movie two years from now, there is no chance we have this cast.'”
Szohr, who came to the project before any of it was put together, brought together a crew of friends that dominated the choice tables inside Teddy’s on Tuesday night, including Nina Dobrev.
“Gossip Girl” cast mate Chace Crawford turned up for support, as did a delegation from “Glee” (Jenna Ushkowitz and Dianna Agron) who have been shooting together in recent days.
Crawford pulled a “Leo,” trying to stay low-profile in a dark navy baseball cap inside one of DiCaprio’s former favorite hangouts. Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, who plays Cedric, did not mind a high perch on the back of a couch, wore a t-shirt with holes in it, and posed for Rachel Nichols to take photos.
For a film about being trapped in a blizzard, Hurricane Sandy provided an eerie parallel. It shut down the micro-budgeted 19-day shoot in fall 2012.
“We were the first production in NYC to get back up and running,” producer Ruben Fleisher told me on Tuesday night. “Because we were so small and nimble, we were able to put it back together quickly.”
“As much as it was probably more stressful on (producer Ruben Fleisher’s) end, it was fun,” Szohr said. “We got candles, we got beer, and walked to each other’s apartments with our phones. We made the best out of it for two days.”
Talk about going method.
eOne releases “Two Night Stand” next Friday, Sept. 26 before a VOD release a week later.