Why Lisa Kudrow Was Fired from Frasier Before Landing Friends: 'I Wasn't Right for the Part'
Lisa Kudrow was supposed to appear as Roz Doyle on Frasier, but the role eventually went to Peri Gilpin
There's a reason for everything, including why Lisa Kudrow was fired from Frasier.
Joining former Friends costars Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox on Sirius XM's The Howard Stern Show on Wednesday, Kudrow revealed that she was pulled from the role of Roz Doyle on Frasier three days into filming the pilot in part because of director James Burrows.
"I wasn't right for the part [or] for the chemistry of the group. So that wasn't working but I did think, 'Oh, I am not this guy's cup of tea,' " the Comeback alumna, 57, said of Burrows.
That discord with Burrows could've cost Kudrow the role of Phoebe on Friends, too: during the Howard Stern interview, Kudrow revealed that she was "the only one of the six of us who had to go in and audition for Jimmy," who would be directing episodes of Friends, as well.
She elaborated, "I had one extra audition just for James Burrows. I did it and he went, 'No notes.' I left going, 'That either means she's beyond help and helpless, just like I always knew,' or 'Yeah, it's perfect. I have no notes,' " she recalled thinking.
Kudrow of course scored the part, but once she started filming Friends, initially felt that she was cast in a role that didn't quite mesh with the rest of the show's core characters.
"Shooting the pilot that week I was like, 'All right, here we go,' " she recalled. "And Phoebe was not the character that was part of this group really, that easily. There was a struggle."
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She said as much in a 2012 interview with Vanity Fair, recalling she felt "terrified" during that first week of filming Friends with Burrows.
"He would say, 'Why are they friends with her?' Meaning [Phoebe]. We have to figure that out. She doesn't fit,' " she said. "And I was like, 'Oh, my God. Here we go again. Well, if everyone just acts like they like me ....' "
To Stern, Kudrow noted that Burrows "wasn't wrong about Frasier" and that she "wasn't right." The role ultimately went to Peri Gilpin.