“I’ll be there for you” went way beyond theme-song lyrics for Lisa Kudrow.
The Friends alum stopped by the PEOPLE studios recently to film a segment of Celeb Parents Get Real, opening up about how her time on the set was extra special when she was pregnant with her son Julian Murray, who’s now 20.
Fans of the iconic N.Y.C.-set comedy series will remember Kudrow’s character Phoebe acting as a surrogate mother for her brother Frank and his wife Alice during seasons 4 and 5, when Kudrow was pregnant herself in real life.
“The six of us would do a huddle backstage and just say, ‘All right, have a good show, love you love you love you love you,’ ” recalls the actress, 55. “And when I was pregnant, then they would say, ‘Have a great show, love you love you — love you, little Julian!’ ‘Cause we knew it was a boy and that was his name.”
“So sweet, they included my little fetus in the huddle,” she adds.
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Now that she has two decades of parenting experience under her belt, Kudrow says “Nothing on planet Earth prepares you for being a mother” — but she knows how much of a positive impact she has made over the years.
“I gave [Julian] advice about the internet and I [said], ‘That stuff’s there forever,’ ” says the Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion star. “You’re gonna look back at this stuff and you’re gonna go, ‘Oh my God, I can do so much better than that now,’ and you might be embarrassed.”
“And he said, ‘You were right,’ ” she adds of why it was her single proudest parenting moment.
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Kudrow believes her best parental quality is her ability and willingness to explain the logic behind her decisions and rules instead of going the “Because I said so” route with Julian.
But she has her drawbacks, too. “I monologue at him,” she admits. “He’ll ask me one question and then I take that opportunity to go into every area of, ‘And now you can learn something about history!’ … More than any human being can possibly listen to.”