Lisa Kudrow Is rewatching Friends because of Matthew Perry

For years after Friends, Lisa Kudrow avoided watching reruns of the beloved NBC sitcom, fearing she might not like her performance. However, in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter to promote her upcoming Apple TV+ series Time Bandits, Kudrow revealed that she has started rewatching Friends episodes. This change is largely driven by her desire to keep the memory of her late co-star Matthew Perry alive.

Keeping Matthew Perry’s memory alive
Perry, who tragically passed away on October 28, 2023, at the age of 54 due to the acute effects of the anesthetic ketamine, left a lasting impact on his colleagues and fans worldwide. Kudrow shared, “Honestly, I wasn’t able to watch it because it’s too embarrassing to watch yourself. But if I make it about Matthew, then that’s OK. And it’s just celebrating how hilarious he was — and that is what I want to remember [about him].”

Friends: A cultural phenomenon
Friends premiered on September 22, 1994, to an audience of 21.5 million viewers, instantly catapulting its cast—Kudrow, Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer—into global stardom. The show ran for 10 seasons and 236 episodes, recently celebrating the 20th anniversary of its series finale.

Rediscovering the comedy
During the Friends reunion special on HBO Max in 2021, Kudrow mentioned that rewatching the show with her husband, Michel Stern, highlighted its humor. She continues to find the show hilariously funny, appreciating her co-stars’ performances. “I’m laughing out loud, and everyone is hilarious. I’m blown away by Courteney Cox. I’m blown away by Jen. Matthew, obviously, is just uniquely hilarious… Sometimes I even laugh at what I’ve done,” Kudrow remarked, adding that despite the enjoyment, it can feel awkward if someone catches her watching Friends.

Memorable moments and upcoming projects
Reflecting on iconic Friends episodes, Kudrow recalled “The One Where Everybody Finds Out,” where her character Phoebe humorously flirts with Perry’s character Chandler. She shared that it was LeBlanc’s idea for Joey to unbutton Phoebe’s shirt to outsmart Chandler, showcasing the collaborative nature of the show’s comedy.

Lisa Kudrow will next be seen in Time Bandits, an Apple TV+ series adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s 1981 fantasy classic, directed by Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, and Iain Morris.

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