Lisa Kudrow Was Ill-Prepared for Her ‘Friends’ Role of Phoebe In One Way

by Jeremy Spirogis
Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay on NBC

When actors create an iconic function on a sitcom, there’s at all times an assumption their actual personalities meshed completely with their characters. What normally comes out later is the actor in query normally discovered the character a polar reverse.

Lots of these roles typically concerned studying new issues or growing sure traits to win the half. Not many know Lisa Kudrow didn’t naturally match into the persona of Phoebe on Friends.

While she’s since made it one of the crucial well-known characters in TV historical past, there was one ability she didn’t have Phoebe has within the present. There was additionally a powerful likelihood of Kudrow not profitable the function after two outstanding actresses auditioned first.

Before Lisa Kudrow auditioned, Phoebe may have been two different actresses

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay on NBC's 'Friends.'
Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay on NBC’s ‘Friends.’ | David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

According to Mental Floss, Phoebe may have been both Kathy Griffin or Jane Lynch. They each tried out for the half and have become shut pals there as a result. It’s not too tough to think about each in that function, although it could have led to a unique profession path for Griffin.

One has to marvel if Griffin would have averted going into insult comedy had she been caught within the Phoebe function for a decade. Lynch may not have gone on to be part of Glee both, however may have been an even bigger star by then.

Whether that they had the identical guitar expertise as Phoebe is one other factor. A prerequisite to profitable the function was understanding how you can play guitar since (as each fan is aware of), she ended up singing in espresso homes.

That basic tune Smelly Cat is iconic. Nevertheless, who can think about Kathy Griffin or Jane Lynch singing the tune? Only Kudrow’s quirkiness made it work, regardless of not understanding how you can play guitar stepping into.

Lisa Kudrow didn’t like guitar

Even although Kudrow was required to be taught the guitar for the function, she hated taking part in the instrument. Why she did is form of uncommon since many individuals love studying guitar as soon as they do be taught.

Although if somebody doesn’t have a pure musical aptitude, it will possibly grow to be an annoyance taking classes. After just a few courses, Kudrow gave up on making an attempt to play nicely. She simply discovered just a few chords and went with that.

Of course, this made the efficiency of Smelly Cat all of the funnier because it concerned solely the best of chords.

Kudrow’s restricted guitar expertise in the end introduced out extra allure in Phoebe so she didn’t need to sound like a virtuoso. Some of the quirkiness with the Phoebe character didn’t cease there both.

Another attention-grabbing factor occurred to assist flesh out the character and provides an opportunity for Kudrow to develop in making Phoebe price remembering in TV historical past.

Lisa Kudrow performed twins on ‘Friends’

Since Kudrow was taking part in Ursula the Waitress on Mad About You on the similar time she began taking part in Phoebe, the writers determined to get inventive and have her be Phoebe’s twin sister. For eight episodes, Kudrow did simply this, permitting one other inventive pursuit for character growth.

Remembering again to this may make some rethink Kudrow’s contributions to the present. She’s normally unsung in comparison with her fellow castmates.

While Kudrow received one Emmy for the function — and nominated quite a few occasions — it proved she might need been the very best comedic actor of the bunch. At least she doesn’t dangle onto the function of Phoebe in any regard.

She’s mentioned she doesn’t watch reruns of the present. Plus, she undoubtedly doesn’t sing Smelly Cat at any alternative, apart from one celebrated time in 2015 with Taylor Swift. Already lengthy moved on with different roles, Kudrow nonetheless created one thing memorable by making Phoebe lower than good.

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