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Lisa Kudrow: Friends was progressive at the time

The star said the show should be looked at as a ‘time capsule’.


Lisa Kudrow (Ian West/PA)

Lisa Kudrow (Ian West/PA)

Lisa Kudrow (Ian West/PA)

Lisa Kudrow has defended Friends, saying it was “progressive” at the time but would not feature an all-white cast if it was made today.

The actress starred as Phoebe Buffay, one of the six leads, in every episode of the well-loved sitcom between 1994 and 2004.

The 56-year-old suggested fans should look at the show as a “time capsule”.

She told the Sunday Times: “Oh, it’d be completely different. Well, it would not be an all-white cast, for sure. I’m not sure what else, but, to me, it should be looked at as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong.

“Also, this show thought it was very progressive. There was a guy whose wife discovered she was gay and pregnant, and they raised the child together? We had surrogacy too. It was, at the time, progressive.”

She added: “Yes, it’s a fun comedy. But it’s also about people connecting, and part of what appeals about it now is that young people have this unconscious nostalgia for personal connection. And not just right now during the pandemic, but before that.”

Kudrow stars alongside Steve Carell in new Netflix comedy Space Force, inspired by the branch of the US armed services announced by Donald Trump.

After years of rumours, a one-off Friends reunion programme will reunite Kudrow with co-stars Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, although the project has now been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

PA Media