For about a decade, the Friends cast ruled NBC’s must-see TV while embodying characters that almost seemed effortless. Of course, that’s all down to the talent of the actors who played Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Monica, Ross, and Phoebe, but one of them had a surprisingly difficult time maintaining her role once the third season hit. One would think that would be a time to settle into a groove, but the experience was anything but smooth for Lisa Kudrow. She even played Phoebe’s twin, Ursula, on Mad About You for years, yet for some reason, Friends turned into a daunting affair, as she told ex-SNL cast member Kevin Nealon on his Hiking With Kevin YouTube series.
As Kudrow explained, she started to feel some imposter’s syndrome and as if she’d faked her way through the entire audition and first few seasons. At that point, playing ditzy Phoebe became a cumbersome task:
“I had played dumb girls [before], but it wasn’t really me. I feel like, ‘Sh*t, I tricked ’em at the audition. I was the only one who could cope with the audition process and that’s how I got it,’ I think. So I had to work hard at being Phoebe. And then, like, third season in, I was struggling so much.”
Who pulled Kudrow out of her funk, though? That’s right, Joey to the rescue. Matt LeBlanc leveled with his co-star, telling her that “you’re her.” Kudrow went on to portray Phoebe for another six seasons, which became easier once she realized the truth of what LeBlanc told her. “You’re working too hard, thatts your problem.” he insisted. “You don’t need to work as hard. Relax.” As it turns out, Joey doesn’t share food, but he does dole out useful advice. Who knew?
Watch the clip from Hiking With Kevin below.