Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Larry King Live(from CNN.com)

Larry Chats With The Cast of the Hit TV Show "Friends"

Aired March 10, 1997 - 9:00 p.m. ET

ANNOUNCER: Now, live in Los Angeles, here's Larry King.

LARRY KING, HOST: We're in Los Angeles for the entire week. We're all on director's chairs because it's hard to fit six people around our normal set. And we have set them all here, they are the cast of "Friends". They are: Courtney Cox, who plays Monica Geller; David Schwimmer, who plays Ross Geller, her brother; Jennifer Aniston, who plays Rachel Green; Matthew Perry, who plays Chandler Bing; Lisa Kudrow, who plays Phoebe Buffay; and Matt LeBlanc, who plays Joey Tribbiani. Let's find out from each of you, starting with Matt, how did you get on the show?

MATT LeBLANC, ACTOR, "FRIENDS": I auditioned about five or six times, and there was the most buzz about this project more than any other half hours that were going around, and I went in and in and in again and came out on top.

KING: There was a lot of buzz about this. There was talk this was going to go?

LeBLANC: This was the one.

KING: How did you get the part, Courtney?

COURTNEY COX, ACTOR, "FRIENDS": I got it the same way. I auditioned, and they actually had wanted me for another part on the show.

KING: Which one?

COX: Rachel's part. I think I'll call you Rachel for the rest of my life. Jennifer's part. And I wanted to play the part of Monica, so I had to switch their opinion and tell them that I could do this other part.

KING: Why did you want Monica?

COX: You know, I ask the same question now myself. No I don't. I wanted to play Monica because I thought that for me -- I just connected with her in a certain way, and I was going to play Rachel very neurotic and not as ethereal and quirky.

KING: Did you know it would be a hit, too? Did you hear the buzz?

COX: Well, I knew it was good. I don't know...

KING: You can't ever predict a hit?

COX: No. But I knew it was good, and there were six interesting characters.

KING: Your story any different, Lisa?

LISA KUDROW, ACTOR, "FRIENDS": Mine is the story of a lovely lady, who was busy. Sorry. You said story. No, not that different.

KING: Called you in, and you auditioned.

KUDROW: Called me in.

KING: Had you heard the same buzz Matt had heard?

KUDROW: I was told this is the one you want to do.

KING: You have to audition several times. Do you know your competitors when you're auditioning?

KUDROW: I did. I certainly recognized everyone that was reading for this part, and thought they were much better than me for it.

KING: So you didn't think you would get it? David?

DAVID SCHWIMMER, ACTOR, "FRIENDS": Yes.

KING: Hi.

SCHWIMMER: Hi.

KING: Your story, your saga.

SCHWIMMER: My vision. I was doing a play in Chicago, and my agents in Los Angeles said I should come out for this audition, and so I did, and it happened to be the same creators of this pilot I had auditioned for a year prior and did not get. But I guess they remembered me and later...

KING: Did you have to do a lot of reading?

SCHWIMMER: No. I met with them, talked about it, and read with the director of the pilot, Jim Burrows, and the executive producers and they offered me the part.

KING: Jennifer?

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTOR, "FRIENDS": Yeah. Well, pretty much the same way, I guess. It was sort of last minute. I was on another show at the time.

KING: Which one?

ANISTON: It was called "Modeling Through." And so I hadn't been able -- I wasn't able to audition for anything. But this one was sort of looking iffy all of a sudden, and it came up very last minute. It happened in a matter of three days.

KING: After they decided Courtney was...

ANISTON: And I hadn't even heard about it. They wanted me too read for Monica.

SCHWIMMER: They wanted me to read for Monica, too.

ANISTON: Isn't that weird?

SCHWIMMER: No.

ANISTON: I don't think that was a very smart choice.

KING: So did you have to do a lot of reading, too?

ANISTON: They were down to the crunch. So I went in, I think, twice, and it happened, sort of the fastest job I got.

KING: Who informs you, your agent?

ANISTON: Yeah.

KING: He's the caller who says you got it, and you jumped up and down?

ANISTON: I jumped up and down. Or sometimes you're sitting down so you squirm.

KING: And Matthew, do you have a different story?

MATTHEW PERRY, ACTOR, "FRIENDS": I have a similar story to Jennifer.

ANISTON: Don't copy.

PERRY: I have a similar story to Jennifer. I was doing another show and I wasn't available to do this show, and then the producers of "Friends" saw this show that I had done and thought, yeah, this is about as bad as it gets.

KING: What show is that?

PERRY: It was called "LAX 2194." It was about baggage handlers in the year 2194.

KING: But they liked what you did?

PERRY: But it was. I sorted out aliens' luggage.

KING: Did they say you're the guy for this role?

PERRY: Then I read for the producers on a Wednesday, and I read for the studio on Thursday, and then the network on Friday, and we started work on Monday.

KING: Is anyone in shock over the success of this?

KUDROW: Yeah.

KING: You all are?

ANISTON: Yeah.

KING: Really?

ANISTON: You never know when a show is going to be a hit. You have your initial gut feeling, but networks are so fickle, and you never know what is a guaranteed hit.

KING: Let's try to figure out why? Let's go around. Why do you think, Matt, this show is successful? If you could leave yourself out of it for a minute, why do we watch this?

LeBLANC: Leave myself out. Because they're really great.

KING: But there are a lot of talented people working in a lot of series that aren't good. What's special about "Friends"?

LeBLANC: I think because the characters are so different from one another. When you watch it, everybody seems to be able to identify with one or more characters, and the camaraderie that we have between each other-- we try to make it as real as we can, like are with your friends. And I think that helps to make a broad appeal.

KING: Anyone add to that? Realism is big part of it, right?

KUDROW: Yeah.

COX: The writing.

KING: It begins with the writing, right?

ANISTON: And the rehearsal process. I've never, in the shows I've done. I had never been on a show where rehearsal time was actually used for rehearsal. It wasn't just sort of putting you here, and putting you there.

You break it down and just make it better each day. And each day the writers just rehash and rehash up until the very last minute they're finding things that don't work and making them better.

KING: We'll be right back. Here's a clip from a recent episode of "Friends." Charles, played by Matthew Perry is having a very inconvenient

SCHWIMMER: Charles?

KING: Chandler. Let me tell you something. The teleprompter is far away on this set. I am getting older. Watch.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: "Rolling Stone" said about "Friends": no sex, bad jobs, hit show, go figure. Go figure. Why do you think it's a hit?

COX: No sex, bad jobs, hit show. Well, there is sex.

KING: But you don't see the sex.

COX: No, you don't see it, but you at least know it's happening.

SCHWIMMER: They take that out?

KING: Why is the show a hit, Courtney?

COX: This show is a hit because I think our writers and show runners, and producers are so set on making each week just as good as the last week, if not better. No one's has ever gotten lazy on the show. And they're really talented people, and you have six actors who get along so well.

KING: You are all friends?

COX: We were not friends, but we really, truly are now.

KING: You socialize?

COX: Yes.

KING: You can have a date, and go with her and her on the date?

ANISTON: You mean a double date?

PERRY: Yes, but it gets awkward because she eyes me in ways that make me uncomfortable, considering she has a boyfriend and everything.

KING: But you handled it well?

PERRY: Yeah.

KING: But on this show, you may lose it.

PERRY: I may have just ruined it right there.

KING: Give me the modus operandi, take me through the week, David. When do you get the script? Give me the start of things.

SCHWIMMER: On a Friday night before a Monday, we would get the new script for that week. We would have the weekend to read it and then we would gather on a Monday morning.

KING: Which you did this morning. You gathered this morning at Warner Brothers?

SCHWIMMER: Yeah. And we would have a table read, with the whole writing staff, the heads of production, the executive producers, and the cast and the guest cast and we would read through the scripts. And Monday is really our lightest day. That's really all we would do, and then that's where the writers' jobs really kick in, because they go from that table reading and incorporate all the notes and the laughs that did work and didn't work.

KING: The laughs that work, Lisa. Does that mean as you're sitting around the table you laugh or you don't laugh?

KUDROW: Right.

KING: So they're checking your reaction?

ANISTON: I'm sorry, go ahead.

KUDROW: It's the room's reaction. If it gets a laugh then it's worth keeping, and if it doesn't then they have to look at it.

KING: Since the writers have written it, who's laugh are they determining. Like if five of you laugh, does it stay in?

SCHWIMMER: There's also thirty, forty people. The network, studio.

KUDROW: They also know the difference between something that just doesn't work because we're sitting around the table and not performing it full out, and something that just really is weak.

KING: Do you have to like it, Matthew?

PERRY: Do I have to like it?

KING: Suppose they all love it and you are not crazy about it this week.

PERRY: You mean in terms of certain jokes?

KING: Yes...

PERRY: Well, what happens is everybody works together every single day, and you know, there's no tyrannical person or presence on the set at all.

KING: You don't storm out and say, I can't stand this?

PERRY: No. The producers don't do that. And if a line isn't working and it's driving me crazy, that I can't make it work, we'll all work together and try to figure out some other line or the best way to do it.

KING: So...

PERRY: It's a team effort.

KING: Anyone can jump in.

KUDROW: We'll know on Friday night when we shoot it in front of the audience what works or not, and if it doesn't, one of the great things about our producers is they'll rewrite then and there.

KING: And then you'll shoot it again. So the audience sits a long while?

LeBLANC: A long while.

PERRY: This is the only show -- this is my fifth television show, and it's the only one that's ever existed on. If you say a joke, and it doesn't get a laugh just from the 300 people there, it changes right away. A group of writers run together in a huddle. And you don't feel good, because you're the one who just said it.

KING: Doesn't that make it a tough week, Jennifer?

ANISTON: It's only that you...

KING: You're studying all weekend.

ANISTON: You try to lock down something. It's only a benefit because it gets better, and you feel it when it's right. And if happens in front of the audience that's fine. And sometimes you'll say a joke and it doesn't work. And you say another one, and you wait until the laugh...

KING: Matt, will they let you say, I don't like this, I'd like to do it this way? I don't like what I'm saying here, I'd like to say it this way.

LeBLANC: If it's something I have a problem with, or any of us have a problem with , we'll try it and try to make it work. And when we've exhausted the options on making that line work, they'll see that and accommodate us and change it. They know -- as soon as we know it's not working they know it's not working. It's really one big common voice.

KING: Every team, though, and this is large, you have 30 people around here -- who says, yes, who's the manager.

SCHWIMMER: Well, I mean the cool thing is about this, we're very, very lucky, because the environment we work in, it's really the best joke wins.

KING: No one says you will, but...

SCHWIMMER: It's not like that at all. We're very lucky in that we spend all our time during the day coming up with the best way to do their joke. And also, we come up with alternates. Other jokes we think of on the spot when we're doing it, and if they like it better, it's in the show.

KING: Do you get the script Friday night after you've done the show and you study it all weekend. Then Monday you do the read, then Tuesday you start rehearsals. You're working a seven day week.

COX: We don't really look at it until Sunday night. I don't know, maybe you do.

KUDROW: It's hard to commit to a script that you know you're going to read at the stable the next day, and they're going to do a lot of rewriting.

KING: So you sort of glance that script, right?

PERRY: You read it, you don't memorize.

KING: You just read it?

ANISTON: But you read it so you can get it to a level that it sells it. You want to sell it at the table as best you can.

KING: Another clip from the great show "Friends." We'll be including your phone calls on this program as we go to break. Watch.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with the cast of "Friends." What has fame done to it, Matthew? What has it done to you? Suddenly, everybody knows you.

PERRY: It's great.

KING: You like it?

PERRY: It's a very strange feeling. The way that I look at it is, it's 85 percent perfect. Your dream is coming true. And 15 percent scary, strange, weird...

KING: Tabloids?

PERRY: Yes, all that stuff. But you know, you get -- you know, this was free. This suit, free. I didn't spend any money for it.

KING: Because?

PERRY: Just because some nice person gave me the suit, because I'm on television.

KING: Fame, Jennifer?

ANISTON: It's so wrong.

KING: You don't like it?

ANISTON: I...

KING: It's wrong to take the suit?

ANISTON: It's a beautiful -- a beautiful suit, anyway. Fame, yes, it's Like what he said. It's like 85 percent great. And then there is other part that's just frightening. You don't think of it as fame, I mean, I guess...

KING: But that's what it is, though.

ANISTON: Yes, it is. It is fame.

KING: But when you chose this profession, Matt, that was a possibility. Maybe it's not why you chose it.

LeBLANC: Yes. I mean, the work I think is what really turns us on and gets our juices flow to do the work. The other stuff that goes along with it -- it was great for two months. And now it's just kind weird. It's very surreal, you know. But luckily, you know, we work on a closed set. So when we go to work every day, we don't feel like where there's big public thing, you know. We make this little intimate show. We make it as best we can. And the writers and everyone puts their heads together to make this great little show every week. It's only when it's pumped out, you know, on to television, you know, that we're taken aback by it.

KING: What do you think of it, Courteney.

COX: I kind of have a different view on the whole situation, I think. And I think I always have. I actually think that I don't like being written up in the tabloids, but it's allowed me a lot of opportunities that I wouldn't have had. So and I've also kind of been around. I feel like I've been around like famous people for a long time, so I don't know. I just feel normal.

KING: Not new?

COX: No. I mean it is for me personally, but not ...

KING: David?

SCHWIMMER: I would say...

KING: Change your life?

SCHWIMMER: Yeah. I don't think there's any way to describe what happens to you in the way in which people respond to you. There's no way to describe it. Luckily, I think we all -- I guess speaking for myself, I have a really solid family and friends, a really good support group to help you through that. I can totally see now why like child stars -- some child stars...

KING: Major problems.

SCHWIMMER: ...just have major problems, because it's just a very, very strange thing to go through.

KING: Lisa, too much too soon sometimes?

KUDROW: Yeah. And I think for us it was very, very soon. And so it was -- it's just harder to adapt to the adjustment. It's harder.

KING: And you took some bad reps around the way, right? All of you did.

KUDROW: Yeah, which is weird...

KING: Let's talk about that as we see another clip from "Friends." And we'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Fame has brought lots of things. They copy your hair cut right? What is that? The shag, they call it?

ANISTON: I guess.

KING: Your clothes are copied. Isn't that a little weird?

ANISTON: It's all weird. There's no way to really prepare yourself for what it's going to be like.

KING: Like your hair is now the hair, right?

ANISTON: Well, not anymore.

KING: It's gone now. It's already out. Your's in?

ANISTON: They've moved on.

COX: I've never had the hair. I don't think anybody...

KING: You've got her hair though. Just shorter.

COX: Oh, God. Well that's -- where's my hairdresser.

KING: And what is your hair?

KUDROW: Mine.

KING: OK I know it's yours but I mean all of it's straight down, right?

COX: Yes.

KING: Clothes. Your clothes are copied. Wait a minute. Your hair is not the same? I'm lost.

COX: I don't but let me tell -- I've got to talk to you for a second. You never say that to a woman. I am a girl. You can call me whatever. You never say that we have the same hairdo. We'll talk about that after the show.

KING: Alright your hair starts on the top and goes straight down. Yours goes straight down. Your hair goes straight down.

COX: Well we're all born with straight hair. I mean.

ANISTON: I don't have straight hair.

KUDROW: We have the same hair doing our hair today. Same exact guy.

ANISTON: His fault.

KING: But the boys hair don't look the same.

"FRIENDS" CAST MEMBER, WOMAN (off-camera): It use to.

"FRIENDS" CAST MEMBER, MAN (off-camera): I'm just glad we're talking about...

PERRY: Yes, I know when we're talking about art and the show and scripts and this is the one thing we've gotten like vehement on.

"FRIENDS" CAST MEMBER, MAN (off-camera): The hair.

KING: But what about when you took the bad raps for wanting more money? Or did you take bad raps? Am I just assuming that?

COX: I -- I mean -- I think there was a lot -- here's the deal with that. It became so blown out of proportion, the whole renegotiation thing. The bottom line is that every single show on their third year renegotiates. That's just what happens. It doesn't matter which show it is. It just happens. And there was never an awkward moment between the producers and the cast ever. It just never was.

KING: There was no stalk-offs? No...

COX: No. It was a really strange feeling to drive...

KING: : No. I'm not going to work?

COX: No. We went to work every single day. Yes there were cameras there the first day we pulled in to make sure. It was so blown up. It's just a natural thing that happens. And we negotiated. And thats what happens and everybody's happy and we're done.

KING: All your agents negotiated. But you didn't go as a group, did you Matt? Or did you?

LeBLANC: Yeah. We did.

ANISTON: Yeah. We did. It was very important that we all...

KING: So you're all paid the same?

"FRIENDS" CAST: Yes.

COX: But know this. Our producers -- everyone wanted us to go as a group, as far as the show. It's not like -- it's not us against them.

ANISTON: We were all equals.

KING: : So there was never any banging of tables and screaming and yelling like was reported.

ANISTON: No.

PERRY: No, was it reported there was banging on tables?

KING: Well it made it seem like it. Some press made it seem like you were going to walk.

ANISTON: There's been some unbelievable things said.

"FRIENDS" CAST MEMBER, WOMAN (off-camera): That's what's frustrating.

KING: I'm glad you cleared it up.

ANISTON: It's so frustrating. Because you read about it, and we don't know that it's going on until it comes across your desk like this is the latest.

KING: We've got to get a break. We'll come right back with more of the cast of "Friends." We'll include your phone calls on "Larry King Live." Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with the cast of "Friends". They are Courtney Cox who plays Monica, David Schwimmer who's Ross, Jennifer ANISTON: who is Rachel, Matthew Perry who is Chandler, Lisa Kudrow, who is Phoebe . It's Kudrow, right? One person tells me one more time, we throw the cards out, and Matt LeBlanc who is Joey and we're going to be including your phone calls as well.

First a little more on this squabble. Is that all dead now? Is it over? Or do you still hear about it?

PERRY: No. It's -- it's over. It worked itself out.

KING: Was it difficult for you reading wrong things about it?

ANISTON: Yeah.

KUDROW: Yeah. Very hard.

PERRY: Yeah, it's fascinating some of the things that people will write about it. That was toughest thing about it was it played out in the press. You know it was --

ANISTON: And people started hate -- you know, being very -- were angry you know --

KING: People were angry at you for wanting more money in a field where success is rewarded by money.

ANISTON: The natural progression of things.

KING: What do you make of anger, Matt? Why do you think they were mad?

LeBLANC: I don't know. I mean, I just tried -- I tried to not really pay much attention to the way it was played out in the press and we all sort of kept our head together throughout the whole thing.

KING: Sports writers get mad when ball players make a lot of money, right? I guess that goes with the territory. Were you shocked at it, David?

SCHWIMMER: What?

KING: At the reaction.

SCHWIMMER: Yeah it was hurtful, I mean to be honest. I mean the six of us were like, wow, why is there such a backlash? Why is there so much negative press about us asking -- it's like asking for a raise from your boss.

KING: And you got press saying you were the most reluctant, right? To give in you were the toughest? That true?

SCHWIMMER: No I think, we were all, from the beginning we were a group, a solid group, and we all wanted to be paid equally and that was the thing we were stressing from the beginning that we didn't want to have divisive salaries.

KING: At the start were you paid differently?

"FRIENDS" CAST: Yes.

KING: You were?

"FRIENDS" CAST: Yeah.

KING: So one of the things you were asking for was, we're six people. We all want the same?

SCHWIMMER: Yes.

KING: Let's take a call, Pittsburgh hello.

CALLER, PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA: Hi. I am a big fan of the show and I was just wondering if each of you has a favorite episode.

KING: Good question. Matt?

LeBLANC: Wow.

[laughter]

KING: While Matt thinks, Lisa.

KUDROW: I have the same problem there. Three different stories for every show so I don't know what episode, what story was in what.

LeBLANC: It's like one long episode.

KING: OK, Courtney has favorite.

COX: My favorite is the football episode.

"FRIENDS" CAST MEMBER, WOMAN: That was a great --

"FRIENDS" CAST MEMBER, MAN: That's your favorite one, really? COX: Well, I can only remember that one, right, but --.

KING: Yours Matthew?

PERRY: I think my favorite one still is -- it's from the first season. It's when we were all in a blackout in New York City.

KING: That was a great one.

PERRY: Yeah, that's my favorite one still because they just felt like a little mini movie. It was written so well. It was great.

KING: Jennifer?

ANISTON: I'd have to say the same, I love the one with the blackout and also the one with the -- what was it called? Launder -- East German laundry detergent we were all on dates. He was trying to break up with Janis and we were just meeting. That was fun.

KING: Richard you have a favorite?

SCHWIMMER: Or David. I think my -- my favorite is probably --.

[laughter]

"FRIENDS" CAST MEMBER, MALE: Where Larry does research? Is that your favorite one?

KING: Where did Richard come from?

COX: My brother's name and father's name, you just --.

KING: I don't know where Richard came from.

SCHWIMMER: I don't know either.

KING: You know what? Just then you looked like a Richard. Actually there's is a big part for you if you break away from the six.

SCHWIMMER: Oh, really?

KING: A big part for you. Big show. An hour. They don't them. They want you.

SCHWIMMER: No, that's great.

KING: But you have to change your name to Richard.

SCHWIMMER: Well, I'll tell you Steve, I tell you my favorite part was probably -- no, the one with the poker I liked a lot because it was an episode that all six of us --

PERRY: Like he knows. He doesn't even know your name.

KING: Keep it up! You know, I work nights too. Somebody has to work.

SCHWIMMER: The one with all the poker was the one when all six of us were in one room for like the entire episode.

KUDROW: Those are the ones we're all thinking of.

KING: Is it difficult by the way for guests to come on the show when you come into a cast that's worked together?

KUDROW: Is it hard for them?

KING: I bet it's hard.

PERRY: We were talking -- sorry go ahead.

ANISTON: No.

PERRY: Okay. We were talking about these episodes are all the... The interesting thing, is what you were going to say, the interesting thing about all of these episodes you were mentioning is the six of us in this kind of a situation in a room together being funny. There was one this year where it was just the six of us getting ready to leave. That was the whole show. And that's when we have the most fun. And I think that's when the show is the best.

LeBLANC: I didn't have fun that week.

ANISTON: Injury.

KING: You got hurt?

KUDROW: Dislocated shoulder.

LeBLANC: Yeah, I tripped. Tripped. Dislocated my shoulder.

KING: Austin, Texas hello.

CALLER, AUSTIN, TEXAS: Hi.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: My question is for David and for Jennifer. Are Ross and Rachel going to make it?

"FRIENDS" CAST: Ah!

ANISTON: Richard? Sorry.

SCHWIMMER: Yeah, we don't know. The truth is we -- the writers.

KING: Now you're broken up right?

ANISTON: Yeah, we just broke up.

SCHWIMMER: The writers don't tell us everything that's going to happen on the show.

ANISTON: They know that we'll talk about it.

SCHWIMMER: Yeah. and...

KING: How far ahead are you now into season?

PERRY: We're about three episode. In general we're about three or four.

KING: So in the next three weeks she's not going see you back together?

ANISTON: We don't know. We honestly have no idea.

KING: : But you know the in the next three weeks it ain't going to happen?

ANISTON: No.

SCHWIMMER: I honestly can't think what I shot on Friday. No, I'm kidding.

ANISTON: No. We know this week. We have no idea what next week -- we have no idea what the story is going to be.

KING: So they might even introduce new people?

ANISTON: They might.

KING: They might?

SCHWIMMER: Definitely. Yeah.

KING: It's all in the writing, right Courtney?

COX: That's right.

KING: If it ain't there, it ain't there. We'll be back with more of "Friends" on "Larry King Live." Don't go away. David will be with us too.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back. Clarion, Pennsylvania. Hello.

CALLER, CLARION, PENNSYLVANIA: Hi. My friends and I -- we're from Clarion University. We were just wondering what it was like to work with Marsel, the monkey.

KING: David. His name is David. You have worked with him for three years!

SCHWIMMER: Well, it's an adorable creature, I'll tell you that.

COX: He's gone.

SCHWIMMER: Yeah, it was hard to be honest. It was difficult, because the monkey doesn't know it's on a TV show. All it knows is if it hits its mark, he'll get a worm to eat. And it's frustrating sometimes, because you don't -- there's not really give and take with a monkey as you have like a real response -- give and take with actors, so it was frustrating at times. And I have Sam. I am kind of glad that Marsel moved on.

KING: Florida, New Jersey. Hello.

CALLER, SPARTA, NEW JERSEY: Hi. I just want to know how your personality is like that of your character.

KING: Oh, good question. We'll start with Matt. How much is your personality like the character you play, like Joey?

LeBLANC: What?

PERRY: Do you need the question again?

LeBLANC: Can you write that down for me? I am a little brighter I -- I hope than the guy I play on TV. But you know, it's -- after a while on a series, you spend so much time in this guy or girl's shoes that you tend to interject parts of...

KING: You become like him, right?

LeBLANC: Or he becomes more like you, I think, after a while.

KING: You get stupider in other words.

LeBLANC: What?

KING: If he's stupid, you get stupid. I mean, what -- do you have to like him, by the way, to play him well?

LeBLANC: I do. That's just the way I approach everything I do. I have to, you know, get behind the guy and like him and be a fan of his.

KING: Are you like Phoebe?

KUDROW: No. I mean, there are aspects of Phoebe that are -- I mean it's the same thing. I don't know whether I am become more like Phoebe or she's becoming more like me.

KING: Your third year now, this starts to -- this changeover takes place, right?

KUDROW: Yeah.

KING: What about you, Courteney?

COX: Um...

KING: Monica, how much are you like Monica?

COX: No laughing. I don't -- I mean, I think -- I am -- I have certain qualities that are like Monica, but I don't think I behave in the same manner, or I wouldn't do the things that she does.

KING: Do you like her?

COX: Yes. I like her even more this year and each year, because she's getting a little quirkier and crazier.

KING: Like Matt, do you have to like her?

COX: You have to believe in her or believe what you're doing. But, no. I mean I can say certain times on the show, oh, god, I hope I never say that again.

KING: Do you like Ross?

SCHWIMMER: Oh, yeah.

KING: Are you a lot like him?

SCHWIMMER: I think I share some of his values, yeah. I think he's -- the thing about being a family man and kind of wanting that happy kind of life. Yes, I am like him.

KING: And like Matt, do you have to like him?

SCHWIMMER: I -- I think...

KING: Ever played one you didn't like?

SCHWIMMER: Yes.

KING: Was that harder?

SCHWIMMER: I'm actually playing someone I don't like right now in a little play I am doing. So yes, I don't think you have to like the character you're playing. It's a lot more fun when you do, because on a series, you're playing the character for five, six years, so it's -- I think it's a lot more fun if you do like the guy.

KING: Matthew, how much are you like your character?

PERRY: I am a lot like Chandler. And it's strange, because you can't tell which way it happened. But I think he's a slightly exaggerated form of me. I am playing a character that I don't really like very much in this ice show down...

[laughter]

...in Pasadena. I -- sometimes I like him. Sometimes I don't, when he's skating fast...

KING: You like him.

PERRY: I like him.

KING: When he back peddles...

PERRY: But when he's back peddling, you know, go forward.

KING: You get more applause when you go ice skate...

PERRY: Well, I'm back on the skates is what I am trying to say.

KING: Good to see you back there. Solve. Jennifer, how much like Rachel are you?

ANISTON: All day. I don't think I...

KING: Were you crying?

ANISTON: No, I am not. I am just laughing.

KING: Laughing.

ANISTON: I -- it's hard to -- I don't think I am very much like her in the sense that she's never cleaned a house or never had a job or came from a very rich family. I am an absolute opposite of all of that.

KING: Opposite?

ANISTON: Yes. I -- but there are certain qualities and as you -- as time goes on the writers get to know you, and they write in aspects of your personality and sort of -- it become -- you start to morph into one person in a way, you know.

KING: So do you like the others? Do you find it difficult to separate sometimes?

ANISTON: Difficult...?

KING: You and your character.

ANISTON: Yes, sometimes it's really hard. It took me a while right when I got here to actually remove myself from...

KING: Sydney, Australia. Hello.

CALLER, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Yes, good day, how you guys doing?

COX: Hey!

KUDROW: Hey!

PERRY: Hey.

CALLER: I'd just like to say congratulations on an extremely successful show firstly and say what a huge cult following you guys have in Australia. And when are you guys coming down to visit us, so we can take you out?

LEBLANC: Ah.

SCHWIMMER: Ah. COX: Ah.

KING: Sir, while you're on the phone, how big is "Friends" in Australia?

CALLER: It is huge. It's the number one time shot show I believe in Sydney at all times. Whenever it's on, everybody is watching it.

COX: Wow ! with what time of day is it now?

ANISTON: Wow.

SCHWIMMER: Wow.

KING: What time of the day it is now?

CALLER: It's quarter to 2:00 in the daytime.

KING: The afternoon in -- OK, what do you think of that, guys, girls, ladies?

COX: That's great.

KUDROW: Let's go!

PERRY: Great news.

KING: They'd all like to go.

ANISTON: Let's go!

PERRY: I think that accent is made up. I know that guys is in Brooklyn.

COX: He's got a beautiful voice.

PERRY: No, no. That sounds great. We should head down there.

KING: Matthew.

PERRY: Yes, sir.

KING: It's a big show.

PERRY: I'm sorry. You screen these things.

KING: We'll be back with more of "Friends." Good day.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: The things you learn here about "Friends," which I said was a pretty good title was not the original title. What was the original title?

COX: "Friends..." SCHWIMMER: "Friends Like Us."

KING: Then what?

SCHWIMMER: "Six of One."

KING: "Six and One."

KUDROW: "Six of One."

KING: "Six of One."

PERRY: Which is a good sign! For some reason it was just called "Steve" at one point.

KING: "Steve," I like that.

PERRY: "Steve," "Steven."

KING: "Steven," and then "Dynasty," But they couldn't clear that.

ANISTON: They had used that before.

KING: Right. Monroe, Louisiana, hello.

CALLER, MONROE, LOUISIANA: Hi. I'd like to ask the cast if any of them were offered a solo year on television, such as "Mary Tyler Moore," "Bob New Heart," would they jump ship?

KING: Jump ship. Courtney.

COX: No.

KING: Just flat no?

KING: David?

SCHWIMMER: No.

KING: Jennifer?

ANISTON: No.

KING: Matthew?

PERRY: Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah -- no, no. I think you'd be nuts to -- to leave a show that's this well written and is this much fun to you.

KING: But what if it were the Matthew Perry Show, 10:00 o'clock, ABC Thursday nights.

PERRY: No.

SCHWIMMER: He'd be gone! PERRY: No, no. Plenty of time to go do that maybe sometime in the future. But this is...

KING: How long are you committed to this show?

PERRY: Wow. I -- you know my personal feeling on the show is I am around until it...

KING: Does the contract say five years?

PERRY: I think it's six.

COX: We have three more years.

PERRY: Three more years.

KING: That's a definite three.

ANISTON; Yeah.

KING: but you wouldn't be asked out for no matter what offer?

PERRY: Correct.

KING: You wouldn't ask them to let you go?

PERRY: No.

KING: Lisa?

KUDROW: No. It would be silly I think.

KING: Even if it were -- pot slighting you, because there are ego trips in this business.

KUDROW: Yes. But it's too -- even with the most delicate ego, it's too risky to fall that far. By taking a show with people that you haven't worked with and -- we were just one of the luckiest things about this show are David Crane, Marty Croft and Kevin Bright that we get to work with them. So it's too big a risk.

KING: Another lucky thing, that's part luck that you're like each other. Because that didn't have to have, right? That's lucky.

Matt, would you leave?

LeBLANC: No, sir, I would not.

KING: Not even for Al Pacino kind of role?

LeBLANC: Yes, sir, I would. No, I wouldn't. I mean it's just -- we have such a good time. There's so many times it just doesn't feel like work, am I right?

ANISTON: Yes.

LeBLANC: Our job is to come up with the funniest thing all day long. We all get along, the writing is so good. This is the kind of thing that all shows -- boy, does that sound awful to say -- but most shows try to be -- to try to have the communication between the powers that be the actors and the writers that we have. We have such a great thing going. I don't think it's that common.

KING: But it is, Courtney, a lot of work.

COX: Yes. But everything is a lot of work. Getting up in the morning is a lot of work. Before you can push that button on your coffee machine, everything is a lot of work. Yeah, it's hard, but it's fun. I mean, it's a great. There's nothing better than having the audience laugh...

KING: Even when you do a scene on Friday, they come in say we're going to change. We didn't get laugh. Let's change it. Let's go off. Let's wait. Now we wait 20 minutes...

COX: It's nothing like waiting in features. And yes -- are there ever complaints? We're all human. We complain about stupid stuff, but it's such immediate gratification you get from filming in front of the audience. Maybe a really long night, but it feels so good.

LeBLANC: That thing about changing a line Friday night, if you say a joke that doesn't work, that's a bad feeling. The huddle that the writers go into is all to make it -- all in an effort to make it better. So that's I think something we like.

KING: You're therefore aware that everyone involved just wants to come up with the best they can do?

ANISTON: There are no ego trips at all.

LeBLANC: That's why you're talking to six people that wouldn't go away.

KING: That's extraordinary. We'll be back with our remaining moments with true "Friends" after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Cedar Falls, Iowa, last call we can get in. Hello.

CALLER, CEDAR FALLS, IOWA: Yes. I'd like to ask the group when there's a conflict on the set, which one of the cast members emerges as the peacemaker?

KING: Who is the peacemaker, since you have to have some conflict?

ANISTON: It differs. Courteney is a good majority of the time a peacemaker.

KUDROW: But we're usually our own peacemakers, because we don't want to -- we understand also that this show is about six people that like each other and get along, so it's...

KING: But six people in close quarters are occasionally going to have a fight.

KUDROW: It's like a family. It is like a family and you can't leave and you can't, you know, go anywhere. But we make peace with each other. Something comes up...

KING: Amazing.

KUDROW: Ten minutes later, we are working it out.

COX: Let it bounce off of us.

KUDROW: Like a brother, sister, you pissed me off or whatever...

KING: It's amazing.

KUDROW: Yes.

KING: Goals beyond "Friends?"

COX: Continue to play other parts and other projects that are different...

KING: Major film?

COX: Yes, sure.

KING: David?

SCHWIMMER: Oh, yes. Just to be...

KING: Broadway theater?

SCHWIMMER: Sure, doing theater, film, more TV, just...

KING: Nothing is forever? Jennifer?

ANISTON: Yes and yes and yes.

KING: Major films, theater, all of it?

ANISTON: Film, theater, I would love to do, I mean, just work.

KING: Matthew?

PERRY: Stand on the skates.

KING: The ice shows.

PERRY; The ice show.

KING: "Disney on Ice," is that a goal?

PERRY: Well, you know -- but movies. I like writing a lot, so keep...

KING: All of you could do summer movies, right?

PERRY: Yes, we have a good four months to do that.

KING: Lisa?

KUDROW: Yes, anything that can be good and funny.

KING: Do you want to be a major star? Is that goal, would you like to be?

KUDROW: The goal actually is to do good work, to be perfectly honest, something that'll allow me to do good work.

KING: Matthew.

LeBLANC: The same for me. I just want to be able to continue working on projects that I -- that turn me on.

KING: So in other words, you don't sit down and say I want to be Tony Curtis?

LeBLANC: No. no. I want to be me in whatever path that...

KING: I don't -- I don't have to be name in lights?

LeBLANC: No, not necessarily, no.

KING: That's the ultimate down the road.

COX: If you do good work, you just want to...

SCHWIMMER: Every actor is in the business to have his or her name in lights. The question is -- I think all of us want to have a career, a 40-year career and to do good work. And some things will hit. Some won't. But the point is just to do your best and make a living at it, so...

COX: We want opportunities to do the kind of parts we'd like to do.

KING: Can't beat that. You're the only one married, right, Lisa? KUDROW: Uh-huh.

KING: The oldest is 33, and the youngest is 28?

PERRY: Twenty seven.

KING: You're the youngest?

PERRY: I am the youngest.

PERRY: Ah!

KING: That's right, you still skate.

PERRY: That's right. Still skate.

KING: Thanks to all of you for a terrific, terrific hour.

PERRY: Thank you.

SCHWIMMER: Thank you.

KING: We are going to visit the set, go behind the scenes and watch all of this work.

COX: Great!

KING: Thank you, guys, ladies. The cast of "Friends." We hope you enjoyed it. We'll be back tomorrow night with more guests. We'll look at the extraordinary case in Colorado. On Wednesday night, two jurors from the civil crime, two jurors from the criminal trial and Joellan Dimitrius, the jury consultant. If I have to tell you what the trial was, you ain't on this planet. Thanks for joining us and good night.