The actor was originally set to play Roz Doyle, Frasier Crane’s radio producer, in the hit Cheers spin-off. The role eventually went to Peri Gilpin.
Kudrow was present for the first few days of filming Frasier’s pilot episode before being removed from the show.
Speaking to Howard Stern on The Howard Stern Show, Kudrow revealed: “I wasn’t right for the part [or] for the chemistry of the group. So that wasn’t working.”
The pilot for Frasier was directed by revered sitcom director James Burrows, and Kudrow said her dismissal led her to thinking that she was “not this guy’s cup of tea”.
Shortly after losing the role, Kudrow attended the audition for Friends, and Burrows was again in charge.
“I did it and he went, ‘No notes,’” Kudrow said. “I left going that either means, ‘She’s beyond help and helpless, just like I always knew,’ or ‘Yeah, it’s perfect. I have no notes.’”
Fortunately for Kudrow, the latter was correct, and she ended up playing the role of Phoebe Buffay on Friends for the entirety of the show’s run.
Kudrow recently re-joined the rest of the show’s core cast for a widely publicised reunion special. Among the revelations from the televised event was the news that David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston had strong (though allegedly unconsummated) romantic feelings for one another in real life.