Friends Exposed: 30 Shocking Moments of Personal Struggles and Turmoil Behind the Laughter

By Jack Ripley | November 13, 2023

Lisa Kudrow Thought She Would Be Fired 

Welcome to our exploration of the fascinating behind-the-scenes drama of the beloved 1990s TV show Friends. While we laughed along with Ross, Rachel, Joey, Monica, Chandler, and Phoebe, there was a lot of happening behind the scenes that viewers never saw. From personal struggles and intense pressure to addiction and potential cast changes, there was plenty of drama taking place among the cast and crew.

In this gallery, we'll dive deep into some of the most intriguing and eye-opening stories from behind the camera, including Matthew Perry's battle with addiction, David Schwimmer's struggle with depression during the height of the show's fame, and Jennifer Aniston's desire to leave the hit series. We'll examine the challenges they faced and the ways in which they impacted the show's production and overall legacy.

So, whether you're a die-hard Friends fan or simply interested in the behind-the-scenes workings of a hit TV show, we invite you to join us on this journey into the drama and intrigue of Friends. Keep reading to uncover the secrets that only those on set knew and gain a deeper understanding of the people behind the characters we all know and love.

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(NBC)

When we think of Friends, we can't help but picture Lisa Kudrow as the quirky and lovable Phoebe Buffay. It's hard to imagine anyone else playing the role, but it turns out Kudrow herself had doubts about her ability to pull it off.

In a recent interview with The Mirror, Kudrow revealed that she was originally cast as Roz Doyle on Frasier, but was fired by director James Burrows during pilot rehearsals. She was replaced by Peri Gilpin. So when Kudrow was cast as Phoebe on Friends and realized Burrows was directing again, she understandably became nervous.

Kudrow even admitted to fearing she would be fired from Friends before she got past her first week on set. She told Vanity Fair:

I was terrified that first week. It was Jimmy ... again. He would say, 'Why are they friends with her?' Meaning me. 'We have to figure that out. She doesn't fit,' and I was like, 'Oh my God, here we go again.' I thought, this is the run-through where Marta and David are going to say, 'This character doesn't work. We have to reconceive it. She's just not part of the group.'

Kathleen Turner did not have a good time behind the scenes on Friends.

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(NBC)

It's hard not to recognize the unmistakable voice of Kathleen Turner, best known for her iconic role as the sultry Jessica Rabbit. So when she joined Friends in 2001 as Chandler's transgender parent, fans were excited to see her on the small screen. But little did she know, her time on set would be anything but smooth sailing.

Turner recently shared that she was shocked by how the six core cast members supposedly treated her. Her main gripe seemed to center around a chair and a pair of grueling high heels. It's not clear what exactly happened, but it's clear that Turner was not pleased with her treatment on set. Despite this, her portrayal of Chandler's remains a memorable part of the show's later seasons. She told Vulture:

I remember I was wearing this difficult sequined gown — and my high heels were absolutely killing me. I found it odd that none of the actors thought to offer me a seat. Finally it was one of the older crew members that said, 'Get Miss Turner a chair.' The Friends actors were such a clique — but I don't think my experience with them was unique.