A director of the legendary 90’s sitcom “Friends” didn’t hold back any punches after calling one of its cast members on the show “not funny,” the Daily Mail reported.
Director James Burrow had a lot to get off his chest when he admitted that UK actress Helen Baxendale, who played Emily Waltham in 14 episodes of the show, couldn’t gel with other cast members because she wasn’t as comedic.
“She was nice but not particularly funny,” Burrow said.
“In sitcoms and any type of romantic comedy, the funny is just as important as the chemistry,” he continued.
Baxendale joined the iconic sitcom, which first aired on Sept. 1994, during its fourth season.
She played an integral role on the show as the girlfriend and fiancée of David Schwimmer’s character, Ross.
Ross mistakenly said his ex Rachel’s name instead of Emily’s during their wedding in the Season 4 finale, dooming the on-screen relationship
In earlier seasons, Schwimmer’s Ross was in a relationship with Jennifer Aniston’s lead character, Rachel.
Burrow claimed Baxendale’s so-called “nice” demeanor just didn’t cut it for him, where he made the point in emphasis that “any new girlfriend for Ross needed to be as funny as Rachel.”
“Schwimmer had no one to bounce off. It was like clapping with one hand,” Burrow said.
“You need someone who gets laughs. Sometimes you start an arc and it ain’t working out, so you have to get rid of that person. If it’s a day player, it’s a quick goodbye.”
But soon enough, after only appearing in Seasons 4 and 5, Baxendale called it quits after she became pregnant with her first child and moved back to the UK.
Since then, she spoke about her tenure on “Friends” with the Sunday Mirror in 2012, describing her time on the show as a “strange surreal little blip in my life.”
“People expect because it is called ‘Friends’ that everyone was great friends, but they were real professionals,” Baxendale said.
“They’d been doing it for years and I was one of many guest stars to appear.”
Over the course of time on the show, Baxendale realized her vital role on the show was parlaying over into the real world — and not in the way she desired.
Baxendale said the show made her more identifiable than ever.
“You couldn’t walk down the street to buy a pint of milk. In fact, you couldn’t go anywhere. It was impossible to mix with the crowd, and do what ordinary people do,” she admitted to the Mail in 2012.
“I saw [the fame] as a gilded prison. It was something I wasn’t prepared for,” she said.
Baxendale went on to say how she didn’t regret coming back to the U.S. after she headed back home to the UK to restart her life.
“Fame just didn’t fit in with my life. I don’t know how much would have come from staying in the States anyway. I didn’t want to live in America when all my circumstances were leading me back to Britain. I don’t regret it for a minute.”
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