In a wide-ranging interview with Vulture published Tuesday, the 64-year-old legendary actress reflected on her guest appearances on the hit NBC series — admitting that she never warmed up to cast members Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc.
“I’ll be quite honest, which is my wont: I didn’t feel very welcomed by the cast,” Turner said. “The Friends actors were such a clique — but I don’t think my experience with them was unique. I think it was simply that they were such a tight little group that nobody from the outside mattered.”
On Friends, Turner played Helena Handbasket, the father to Perry’s Chandler. She appeared in three episodes over the course of the TV show’s 10 seasons (which ran from 1994 to 2004).
“I remember I was wearing this difficult sequined gown — and my high heels were absolutely killing me,” the Oscar-nominated star and Golden Globe winner recalled to Vulture of filming one episode. “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.’ “
Asked how she found the Friends stars as actors and actresses, Turner — who has been acting for 41 years and regularly conducts master classes for acting students across the country — said “I won’t comment on that.”
“Maybe if I’d had months to work with them, I’d be in a better position to evaluate their skill. But I could only judge based on the period I worked on the show, which wasn’t long,” she said.
Yet, Turner still had positive things to say about the bunch.
“I do respect the camaraderie they had,” she said to Vulture. “You can see camaraderie on the screen. When I did Body Heat with Larry Kasdan and Bill Hurt, we rehearsed significantly before shooting and there was a familiarity before the camera rolled. You see it in the film.”
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Also in her interview, the ever-candid Turner spoke out about working with Burt Reynolds in 1988’s Switching Channels — another experience she didn’t enjoy.
“Working with Burt Reynolds was terrible,” Turner claimed. “The first day Burt came in he made me cry. He said something about not taking second place to a woman. His behavior was shocking.”
“It never occurred to me that I wasn’t someone’s equal,” she said. “I left the room sobbing. I called my husband and said, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ He said, ‘You just do the job.’ It got to be very hostile because the crew began taking sides. But as for the performance, I was able to put the negativity aside. I’m not convinced Burt was.”
Reynolds has also not been shy about their feud, answering with Turner’s name when asked during a Watch What Happens Live appearance earlier this year to state the most overrated actor of the ’70s and ’80s.