Initially, Kudrow figured that the amount of hoops she had to jump through was just part of the process. Later, she found out that she was the only one from the cast who had to do a special audition.
"Just to make sure that it was all ok with Jimmy that I played Phoebe," she said. But, even after he came around to having Kudrow play the guitar-playing masseuse, he still seemed to have a gripe with her which left the 58-year-old feeling defeated.
“[On set for the pilot] I said 'ugh, f--king Jimmy Burrows is directing this. It was more like in defeat than anger.”
At first, she felt as if Burrows was doing all he could to make her job as difficult as possible, particularly after he made her read a monologue from underneath a table.
"We were getting ready to do a run-through and I have to do my Phoebe monologue and he's like ‘Lisa, sit under the table to read the monologue, do it under the table, she's out there,’" Kudrow explained.
And while she didn't agree with his direction, she followed Burrows instructions and completd the scene.
"I just went, ‘My God, I can't connect with anyone. If you need to demonstrate how much my character doesn't belong with these people...’,” she recalled.
"I did the best I could and then after the run-through, David Crane [Friends co-creator] says, ‘Lisa, it's fun that you're under the table’—as if it was my idea—‘But I'm not sure that it works.’”
Thankfully, Burrows finally made peace with Kudrow and clearly the two were amicable enough to create one of the most successful sitcoms of all time.
"I just went ‘OK, yeah,’" Kudrow explain about the direction from Crane, adding, “But Jimmy admitted it was his idea and then I knew I could trust him”.
And clearly, the rest was history.