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Lisa Kudrow recalls being fired from ‘Frasier,’ days before being offered role on ‘Friends’


Friends star Lisa Kudrow received some life-changing news, just days after being told she had been fired from a promising job on Frasier.

During her Wednesday appearance on The Howard Stern Show, the 57-year-old actress revealed she was cast as Roz Doyle in the popular NBC sitcom, directed by James Burrows.  However, Kudrow was canned just three days into filming the pilot episode in 1993. The role of Roz eventually went to Peri Gilpin.

“I wasn’t right for the part [or] for the chemistry of the group,” Kudrow explained, via People. “So that wasn’t working but I did think, ‘Oh, I am not this guy’s cup of tea."”

With her schedule suddenly freed up, Kudrow said she was allowed to audition for a role on the upcoming series Friends — and found herself again auditioning in front of Burrows, the man who fired her not even a week prior.

“I was the only one of the six of us who had to go in and audition for Jimmy,” Kudrow laughed.  “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,"” the Emmy winner said.

Kudrow, who of course won part, recalled struggling to mesh with her costars when filming the pilot because of her character’s eccentric personality, saying, “Phoebe was not the character that was part of this group really, that easily. There was a struggle.”

Things worked out in the end and Phoebe became the glue of the group, and Kudrow became a star.

Friends — starring David SchwimmerCourteney CoxMatthew PerryJennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc — aired on NBC from 1994 to 2004.

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