Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An oral history of Friends

From the "oral history" of the Friends tv show:
MARTA KAUFFMAN: It was a fascinating casting experience. We saw a countless number of actors, but things happened as they were supposed to happen. One of the first actors on our list was Matthew Perry to play Chandler, but he was doing a show called LAX 2194 [a Fox pilot about baggage handlers in the year 2194], so he wasn’t available. We brought other people in.
And another:
LISA KUDROW (actor): I thought Mad About You was the best-written show I’d ever seen, and I always liked talking to writers. Jeffrey Klarik was one of the writers who was always really friendly and complimentary, and I didn’t know his boyfriend was David Crane. David saw me, because he paid attention to everything Jeffrey did. And I think that’s how I got called in for an audition for Friends.

I read for David and Marta, and then I had to go back and read for Jimmy Burrows. That scared me a lot, because of Frasier. He’s kind of who fired me.

Kudrow had originally been cast as Roz on the sitcom Frasier but was fired during rehearsals for the pilot episode, which Burrows directed.
And one more:
DAVID CRANE: Joey was never stupid when we pitched the show. He wasn’t stupid until we were shooting the pilot, and somebody said, “Matt plays dumb really well.”