Through the course of its ten seasons, a lot of actors made cameos on . While some of these cameos were not great, others were downright memorable. For instance, Maggie Wheeler was so good as Janice and fans loved her so much that her on the show!
On the other hand, some actors who appeared on Friends were so bad that their time on the show had to be cut short. For example, a director for the show revealed and that was the reason why his character never came back. Later on, this actress was almost fired from the show because the director didn’t find her funny enough and thought she didn’t have good chemistry with !
Helen Baxendale played Emily Waltham, Ross’ girlfriend and later on wife, throughout seasons 4 and 5 of . But this actress was not the first choice for the role. In fact, British actress Patsy Kensit was originally .
with the fame she gained for her time on the show. Although she only appeared in 14 episodes of Friends, her career and fame skyrocketed after her time on the show, which was hard to adjust to.
"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,” the actress told the . "I saw it as a gilded prison. It was something I wasn’t prepared for. But it was quickly forgotten. I don’t get the same attention now."
Ultimately, her new-found fame was too much for her. “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.”
But the reason why Baxendale ultimately decided to leave the show was because she found out she was pregnant and wanted to focus on her family rather than her career at the time. “I'm so glad I gave up fame for a family,” she admitted.
Although Helen Baxendale portrayed Emily in 14 episodes of , the actress almost got fired from the show. In a recent interview, director Moreover, he thought the actress lacked chemistry with , who played her on-screen love interest.
Burrows thought Baxendale and Schwimmer didn’t have as much on-screen chemistry as Ross and Rachel did. “Schwimmer had no one to bounce off. It was like clapping with one hand. In sitcoms and any type of romantic comedy, the funny is just as important as the chemistry. We discovered that any new girlfriend for Ross needed to be as funny as Rachel.”
The only reason why was because they were on a tight deadline.
“Often, you can’t recast, because of tight shooting deadlines or other logistical considerations,” he wrote. “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.”
However, the lack of chemistry played a huge role in Emily’s storyline. “If there’s chemistry, the writers go to work to figure out some way of keeping the actor.” That didn’t seem to be the case for Baxendale because her character eventually was written off the show in Season 5 when Emily and Ross called it quits after a rocky marriage.
However, disagreed with Burrows’ comments. In a 1998 interview with , she highly praised Baxendale’s talents. ”Helen came in and was brilliant. It’s a difficult thing we’re asking her to do, because the audience is very resistant to that seventh person coming in. But you can see her being one of your friends,” Kauffman said
Despite playing a key role in the fourth and fifth seasons of , Helen Baxendale has revealed that she never felt like a part of the cast. From the get-go, she knew that fans wouldn’t love her character because she came in the way of Ross and Rachel. However, she didn’t expect .
"They were all very nice and professional. We were never great mates though. People expect because it is called 'Friends' that everyone was great friends, but they were real professionals. They'd been doing it for years and I was one of many guest stars to appear," the actress explained.