Friends: Writer Reveals Negative Behavior of Stars on Set of Sitcom | TV

Former screenwriter Patty Lin shared her experience on the set of the sitcom Friendsshowing that the work on the series was not particularly good.

After a stint with Freaks and Geeks, the author moved to NBC to write for a series starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.

Lin, in his autobiography End Credits: How I Left Hollywood, recalled:

The novelty of meeting the Big Stars up close quickly faded along with my enthusiasm for breakfast. The actors seemed miserable but chained to an old, weary series when they could expand their work, and I got the feeling they were constantly wondering how each script could serve their purpose.

Patty further added that if the actors didn’t like the line, they carefully messed it up in rehearsals, knowing it would be rewritten. Dave Crane and Martha Kaufman would also never defend the work of screenwriters trying to get stars to play scenes right. The screenwriter then wrote that the actors expressed their opinion sharply:

They rarely had anything positive to say, and when they raised issues, they offered no solutions. They saw themselves as protectors of their characters, often arguing about things they would never do or say. It was helpful at times, but overall, these sessions had a tough, aggressive vibe that lacked the frivolity one would expect from a sitcom production.

The screenwriter, who also worked on Desperate Housewives and Breaking Bad, admitted that she suffered from impostor syndrome during the filming of Friends:

But then I discovered that this is a common experience for racial minorities who work in areas where there is no representation. Being the only Asian writer in many offices, I felt so alone, suffering from having to represent my entire race and prove that I deserve a seat at the table or a spot on this team.

Patty Lin finally admitted that Judd Apatow, producer of Freaks & Geeks, warned her about the potential consequences of working on Friends, as it’s a “well-oiled machine” and won’t let her learn anything:

I didn’t learn much, except that I didn’t want to work on a sitcom anymore. But then the choice was clear. And, for better or worse, Friends remains my most recognizable work.

What do you think of writer Patty Lin’s experience on the set of Friends?

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Source: Timing

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