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Entertainment Weekly


Ben is back: Cole Sprouse celebrates Friends anniversary with a cuddly costar

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It seems like it was only yesterday that Ross Geller’s son, Ben, was meeting the Holiday Armadillo and playing pranks on Rachel on Friends. But in the blink of an eye, he’s all grown up — or at least the actor who played him is.

In a photo shared by the Friends Instagram account Thursday, Cole Sprouse is seen sitting on the show’s famous orange couch while gesturing at Huggsy, the stuffed bedtime penguin pal of Joey (Matt LeBlanc).

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“The One Where Ben Grew Up,” reads the caption, in addition to hashtagging the #FRIENDS25 anniversary. The post also features a few photos showing Ben’s scenes with Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston).

Sprouse, who’s now 27, played Ben from seasons 6 to 8 on the popular show. Ben is a spirited kid who splits his time between his divorced parents, Ross and Carol (Jane Sibbett), the latter of whom has since married her wife, Susan (Jessica Hecht).

Having appeared in 24 episodes throughout the show’s 10-season run, Ben was often at the center of the gang’s hijinks — like the episode where Joey and Chandler (Matthew Perry) temporarily lost him on a bus or the one where Monica (Courteney Cox) accidentally banged his head against a beam.

Although three other child actors portrayed younger versions of Ben, Sprouse may be the most recognizable actor who played the character. He’s last seen in season 8 of the show, and is rarely mentioned from then on. Ben is supposed to be born in 1995, which would mean he’s 24 years old this year.

As far as Sprouse’s post-show success, have you heard of a little show called Riverdale? Sprouse stars as Jughead Jones on the CW phenomenon, and he’s also known for appearing on the Disney Channel show The Suite Life of Zack & Cody along with his twin brother, Dylan Sprouse.

Earlier this year, Sprouse came clean about his huge crush on Aniston and how it affected his performance on the NBC comedy.

“I’m pretty sure I fell in love with Jennifer Aniston, which the whole world had at that point,” Sprouse told Today. “But I do remember being quite intimidated around her, because of that. I remember blanking on my lines, and having a kind of stage fright when she sat next to me on the couch in one episode.”

Speaking of Aniston, fans pointed out last year that Sprouse, who was turning 26, had become older than the actress was — 25 — when she first starred on Friends. Yup, we all definitely feel old right about now.

The photo with Sprouse comes the same day that most of the original cast members celebrated the show’s silver anniversary. “Celebrating a Thursday night 25 years ago,” they wrote on Instagram. Check out more of EW’s Friends anniversary news below.

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