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Lisa Kudrow is opening up about a role that she was fired from just days into filming — but fret not for the star because Kudrow ended up landing her role on “Friends” after the ousting.
While joining her sitcom co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox on Wednesday’s edition of Sirius XM’s “The Howard Stern Show,” Kudrow, who played Phoebe on the beloved 30-minute program, revealed that she was also tapped to play Roz Doyle on “Frasier” but was pulled from the gig three days into filming its pilot episode.
“I wasn’t right for the part [or] for the chemistry of the group. So that wasn’t working but I did think, ‘Oh, I am not this guy’s cup of tea,'” she said of director James Burrows and his decision to scrap Kudrow for that of Peri Gilpin, according to People magazine.
The Kelsey Grammer-led “Frasier” ran for 11 seasons on NBC from 1993 to 2004. Paramount+ announced in February that a revival series was given the go-ahead with Grammer, 66, set to reprise his role as Frasier Crane.
‘Fiends’ actress Lisa Kudrow, right, revealed that her firing from ‘Frasier’ ultimately led to her role as Phoebe on the popular sitcom costarring Courteney Cox, left, and Jennifer Aniston, center. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images for SAG-AFTRA Foundation)
Perhaps, Burrows – who would go on to direct episodes of “Friends” as well – wanted to see Kudrow in another light as the “Comeback” performer also revealed that she was “the only one of the six [‘Friends’ stars] who had to go in and audition for [Burrows],” adding that she “had one extra audition just for James Burrows.”
“I did it and he went, ‘No notes,'” Kudrow recalled of the career moment. “I left going, ‘That either means she’s beyond help and helpless, just like I always knew,’ or ‘Yeah, it’s perfect. I have no notes.’”
Although Kudrow would ultimately land the role as Phoebe, she told Stern that she initially didn’t feel as connected to the other characters and wasn’t sure she would jibe with the crew as a whole.
“Shooting the pilot that week I was like, ‘All right, here we go,'” she recalled. “Phoebe was not the character that was part of this group really, that easily. There was a struggle.”
The cast of ‘Friends’ is seen pictured in Season 1 (clockwise from bottom left) Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green. (Photo by Reisig &amp; Taylor/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
“Friends” would go on to air for 10 seasons on NBC from 1994 to 2004.
The esteemed cast recently came together to film a reunion special that aired on HBO Max.
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