7 Facts About Friends’ Lisa Kudrow That Might Surprise You

Elif Ozden

Lisa Kudrow has been a household name since the ’90s, but there are some aspects of her life and career that many are unaware of. Let’s explore seven surprising facts about Lisa that go beyond her character on ‘Friends.’

1. Lisa Nearly Missed the Role of Phoebe


In 1993, Lisa was originally cast in the television show ‘Frasier,’ but she was fired just after the pilot episode. James Burrows, who directed multiple episodes, stated that he didn’t feel she was the right fit for the role she was supposed to play. Interestingly, Kudrow was more interested in playing the role of Rachel Green on ‘Friends,’ which eventually went to Jennifer Aniston.

2. She Improvised Her Lines in Web Therapy


Lisa’s role in the web series ‘Web Therapy’ required her to think on her feet. Playing a therapist who offers 30-minute sessions to her patients, Kudrow was working without a script. She and the directors only wrote the outlines for the episodes, leaving the dialogue to be improvised. This improvisational approach extended to the 2011 television adaptation of the web series.

3. She Had A Life-Altering Nose Job at 16


Kudrow underwent a nose job when she was 16 years old, a decision she later stated was ‘life-altering.’ The procedure was done during a summer break, just before she was to start high school in a new place. In Lisa’s own words, she thought ‘she went from hideous to not hideous.’

4. Lisa Avoids Watching Her Own Performances


Unlike many of her fans who wouldn’t miss an episode of ‘Friends,’ Lisa does not usually watch her own performances on television. In a 2019 interview with TODAY, she explained that she avoids watching her work because she fears she may not like her acting. To Lisa’s surprise, when her son did watch ‘Friends,’ he wasn’t really a fan of her acting.

5. She Worked With Her Father in Medical Research


Before her acting career began, Lisa pursued academic interests in the field of biology. Holding a bachelor’s degree in the subject, Kudrow worked alongside her physician father in medical research on headaches. She was credited in these studies as one of the researchers and continued to work in this field for eight years before fully committing to her acting career.

6. Her Real Pregnancy Became a Friends Plot Point


Kudrow was the first among the ‘Friends’ cast to become a parent. She married Michel Stern in 1995 and gave birth to their son Julian three years later. Her pregnancy was integrated into the ‘Friends’ storyline during its fourth season, where her character Phoebe became a surrogate mother for her brother, carrying triplets.

7. Conan O’Brien Encouraged Her To Start an Acting Career


Kudrow was in a relationship with comedian Conan O’Brien before becoming an actress. O’Brien played a key role in encouraging Kudrow to continue pursuing her acting career when she was contemplating other options. Besides, Kudrow also inspired O’Brien to try his hand at late-night talk shows.

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