Lisa Kudrow Looks Back on Being Fired from ‘Frasier’ Days Before Landing ‘Friends’ Role

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Friends could have looked very different! Lisa Kudrow is opening up about how her role on the show only came after getting fired from another sitcom.

During her Wednesday’s appearance on The Howard Stern Show, the actress reflected on how she was originally cast in a key role in the sitcom Frasier.

Originally, Kudrow was set to play Roz Doyle — the radio producer and friend of Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier Crane — on the beloved sitcom. However, she only had the role for a few days into the taping of the pilot episode.

“I wasn’t right for the part [or] for the chemistry of the group,” Kudrow explained of the role, which ended up going to actress Peri Gilpin. “So that wasn’t working.”

The Frasier pilot was helmed by legendary TV director James Burrows, and Kudrow said she felt that Burrows chose to let her go from the role because he didn’t like her acting.

“I did think, ‘Oh, I am not this guy’s cup of tea,'” Kudrow recalled. However, shortly after that experience, Kudrow was called in to audition for the role of Phoebe Buffay on Friends, where she once again had to audition for Burrows himself, in addition to her audition for the casting directors.

“I did it and he went, ‘No notes,'” Kudrow explained. “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.'”

While her character on Friends went on to become as interwoven into the fabric of the show and its success as any character in the series, she said there was also a “struggle” to get the chemistry to work while filming the pilot. However, it eventually came together.

Check out the video below to hear more from Kudrow about her time on Friends.

 

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