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Lisa Kudrow talks body insecurities while filming Friends with Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox


Lisa Kudrow admitted that she experienced body image issues after seeing herself onscreen with Friends costars Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox.

The 59-year-old actress, who played Phoebe Buffay on all 10 seasons of the hit sitcom from 1994 to 2004, said that her perception of her body changed after landing her breakthrough role.     

‘I had body dysmorphia in the way of “Oh, I’m a stick.” Just like my sister, just like my dad. And I wasn’t. At all!’ The Comeback star said on the Wednesday episode of the Popcrushed podcast.

Self-conscious: Lisa Kudrow admitted that she experienced body image issues after seeing herself onscreen with Friends costars Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox. Seen in March 2022

She continued, ‘I didn’t see it. I had no waist. I didn’t see it at all. I thought I was just really skinny and I could just do whatever.’

The Emmy Award winner added, ‘And I would look at pictures and be like, “Wow, pictures really distort reality.”  

‘And it wasn’t until Friends that I realized that I don’t really look like I thought I looked. 

Self-image: The 59-year-old actress, who played Phoebe Buffay on all ten seasons of the hit sitcom from 1994 to 2004, said that her perception of her body changed after landing her breakthrough role

Self-image: The 59-year-old actress, who played Phoebe Buffay on all ten seasons of the hit sitcom from 1994 to 2004, said that her perception of her body changed after landing her breakthrough role

'I had body dysmorphia in the way of "Oh, I'm a stick." Just like my sister, just like my dad. And I wasn't. At all!' The Comeback star said on the Wednesday episode of the Popcrushed podcast. Pictured 1994

‘I had body dysmorphia in the way of “Oh, I’m a stick.” Just like my sister, just like my dad. And I wasn’t. At all!’ The Comeback star said on the Wednesday episode of the Popcrushed podcast. Pictured 1994

‘And that’s what was so jarring and that’s when I was like, “I’ve gotta actually lose weight? I have to diet? Shoot.”‘

When asked by the hosts if it was media coverage or certain headlines that caused her to change her perceptions, Lisa explained, ‘It was just seeing myself on the show on the show and seeing myself in clothes and seeing Courteney and Jennifer in clothes.

‘At first, I thought, “Oh, they know tailoring so they can discuss it with the costume designer about where exactly to take something in.”‘

'And it wasn't until Friends that I realized that I don't really look like I thought I looked,' Lisa said. 'And that's what was so jarring and that's when I was like, "I've gotta actually lose weight? I have to diet? Shoot"

‘And it wasn’t until Friends that I realized that I don’t really look like I thought I looked,’ Lisa said. ‘And that’s what was so jarring and that’s when I was like, “I’ve gotta actually lose weight? I have to diet? Shoot”

Negative: Lisa (center) opened up about struggles she faced on Marc Maron's WTF podcast, admitting she felt 'like this mountain of a woman next to' Jennifer and Courteney (L)

Comparisons:  When asked by the hosts if it was media coverage or certain headlines that caused her to change her perceptions, Lisa explained, ‘It was just seeing myself on the show on the show and seeing myself in clothes and seeing Courteney and Jennifer in clothes.’

The Los Angeles native said that she asked Courteney, 58, who played Monica Gellar, and Jennifer, 53, who portrayed Rachel Green, to accompany her to her fittings to share their advice, which she said they did because they were ‘like sisters.’    

‘And that’s when I would see, oh, it’s not just about tailoring,’ Lisa said.

‘I’m not trying to say I was overweight either,’ she clarified. ‘I was not. I just had no idea of the actual shape of my body.’

The mother of one recalled that she came to accept her body after reaching her forties. 

‘It’s OK. This is just what I look like,’ the actress said. ‘It’s OK. Do what you need to do to be healthy but this is your body and it’s OK.’

'At first, I thought, "Oh, they know tailoring so they can discuss it with the costume designer about where exactly to take something in"'

‘At first, I thought, “Oh, they know tailoring so they can discuss it with the costume designer about where exactly to take something in”‘

Lisa also noted that she would remind herself that she did not aspire to have the look of a typical Hollywood leading lady. 

‘You only wanted to be a character actress. You’re not going for romantic comedies, romantic lead—you don’t do that,’ she said. 

‘That’s not a fun role for you anyway, so knock it off. It’s OK, you can look fine as you are.’

The Booksmart performer added that her husband of 26 years Michel Stern ‘always loved me the way I was’ and ‘wanted me to be healthy’.  

When Popcrushed cohost Penn Badgley shared his thoughts on the pressure that actors feel to constantly compare themselves to more famous stars, Lisa said, ‘That’s all in your own head, you’re doing that to yourself.’

On and off screen friends: The Los Angeles native said that she asked Courteney, 58, who played Monica Gellar, and Jennifer, 53, who portrayed Rachel Green to accompany her to her fittings to share their advice, which she said they did because they were 'like sisters'

'And that's when I would see, oh, it's not just about tailoring,' Lisa said

On and off screen friends: The Los Angeles native said that she asked Courteney, 58, who played Monica Gellar, and Jennifer, 53, who portrayed Rachel Green to accompany her to her fittings to share their advice, which she said they did because they were ‘like sisters’

‘No one needs you to be Tom Cruise or as famous as Tom Cruise,’ she added. 

‘For me, at that time, it was Julia Roberts or Meg Ryan. No one is actually requiring that of me.’

Lisa had previously revealed the body images struggles that she had experienced while starring on Friends during a 2019 appearance on  Marc Maron’s WTF podcast.

She admitted to the comedian that at times she felt like ‘mountain’ compared to Jennifer and Courteney.  

The Easy A star said she would often compare herself to her female co-stars, both of whose characters sported more preppy styles than Lisa’s character Phoebe. 

Phoebe was the more daring dresser of the group, often donning quirky and extravagant outfits. 

Acceptance: The mother of one recalled that she came to accept her body after reaching her forties

Acceptance: The mother of one recalled that she came to accept her body after reaching her forties

While discussing the topic of body image, the actress said: ‘Unfortunately for a woman, if you’re underweight, you look good. And that’s all I ever got.

‘And when I was too thin I was sick all the time. A cold, sinus infection, some kind of flu. I was always sick,’ she added. 

When asked by Marc if she was ‘skinny on purpose’, she responded saying: ‘Yeah, for sure.’

She added that working alongside Jennifer and Courteney often made her feel self-conscious about her own body.  

‘You see yourself on TV and it’s that, “Oh, my God, I’m just a mountain of a girl.” I’m already bigger than Courteney and Jennifer – bigger, like my bones feel bigger,’ she explained.

‘I just felt like this mountain of a woman next to them,’ she added. 

Friends forever: Last week, Jennifer and Courteney marked Lisa's 59th birthday with heartwarming tributes on Instagram; seen in 2003 at the People's Choice Awards

Friends forever: Last week, Jennifer and Courteney marked Lisa’s 59th birthday with heartwarming tributes on Instagram; seen in 2003 at the People’s Choice Awards

However, the trio of actresses have remained close friends over the years since the iconic show concluded. 

Last week, Jennifer and Courteney marked Lisa’s 59th birthday with heartwarming tributes on Instagram.  

 ‘Happy birthday @lisakudrow,’ Jennifer wrote on a snap of the two women taken at the 29th People’s Choice Awards in 2003, which she shared to her Instagram Stories. 

All together: The Friends cast reunited for the HBO Max reunion special last May; Aniston pictured with Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Kudrow

All together: The Friends cast reunited for the HBO Max reunion special last May; Aniston pictured with Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Kudrow

‘I love you,’ she added on the next slide, which featured a GIF of them jumping up and down as Rachel and Phoebe.      

In another photo Aniston showed off her affection for Lisa, giving her a kiss on the temple as the blonde star made a kissing face at the camera. 

The actress added a red heart emoji, a birthday cake emoji and a kissy face to the snap.   

Courteney added her own birthday greeting to her friend, sharing a video in her Instagram stories of the two of them sitting on a sofa and laughing. 

The Homecourt founder wrote ‘Happy Birthday loot! You make everything better! And funnier!’  

The Friends cast – including Cox, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc – reunited for the HBO Max reunion special last May, at which time Kudrow told PEOPLE how deep of a bond she shared with her co-stars.

‘I feel like we can pick up right where we left off, and no time’s passed. We’re connected no matter what,’ she said. 



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