“I will make it seem like it was an actor’s idea”: Friends Director Secretly Tricked Jennifer Aniston and Her Co-stars While Filming 90s Sitcom

FRIENDS director James Burrows used his past education to help the star cast of the show gain confidence

Friends Director Secretly Tricked Jennifer Aniston and Her Co-stars While Filming 90s Sitcom


  • FRIENDS director James Burrows revealed how he secretly helped the cast of the show gain confidence in their abilities
  • He revealed how his past education helped him trick the star cast
  • James Burrows Also helped create a positive atmosphere on the set of the show
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Friends can easily be titled as one of the most widely adored television series of all time. It is responsible for its cast’s rise to fame, with Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc, some of Hollywood’s most well-recognized names. Over the many years since its release, the series has become one of the most-watched series of all time, having one of the most dedicated and huge fanbases.

Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green in Friends

While there are many reasons why this series did as well as it did, one of the biggest has to do with the characters and their relationship with each other, which was deeply affected by the actor’s real-life dynamics with each other, recently, it has been revealed that one, particular person, James Burrows, was the mastermind responsible for this, as well as, some of the funniest moments on-screen in the entire series.

Also Read: Untold Truth About Johnny Depp’s Relationship With ‘Friends’ Star, Who Was Engaged to Him, Proves He’s Not a Monster Like Heard Said He Was


James Burrows Stroked The Ego’s Of The Friends Cast

James Burrows is an extremely well-respected individual in the film industry, having been a part of many massively successful projects like Cheers, Will and Grace, Taxi, and Frasier. Having done this, it is safe to say that he most certainly knows a thing or two about what it is like to work on sitcoms and actors. He proved just as much during a recent interview with The Guardian, where he talked about what it was like for him to work on Friends, a series in which, he worked on 15 very important episodes, including the pilot.


“I give confidence to them and say, ‘Let’s try to go as far as we can with this piece of business,’” he explained. “I’m a psychologist too, you know. If I want to put in something that’s funny, I will make it seem like it was an actor’s idea.”

He explained that he would help the actors gain confidence in themselves and their own capabilities, helping them do as well as they could. He then went on to state that his past education has helped him understand how to plant an idea in someone’s head and take no credit for it making them think that it is their own. He did exactly this every time he thought of a good joke to put into the series, letting the actor take credit for it.

Also Read: “That’s not going to make you a star”: Jennifer Aniston Pleaded to be Kicked Out of Another Sitcom for Friends – Producer Was Not Happy


This Wasn’t The Only Way He Helped Them

It would seem that this wasn’t the only way that James Burrows helped the cast of Friends in the early stages of the show. In a series about a group of extremely close friends, it is imperative that the cast itself, not only gets along but also is as close as we see them on screen. If this was not the case, it is not too far-fetched to say that the series may not have done as well as it did. It would seem that this was also something that the director helped the cast with.


“Burrows was instrumental in creating the atmosphere of Friends,” Christina Pickles said “He took the six leads to Vegas before they started working and they all had a good time together. That was probably very helpful in cementing a sweetness about them.”

According to another interview with The Guardian,  Christina Pickles, best known for portraying Ross and Monica’s mother in the series, revealed that even before filming started for the series, Burrows took the entire cast on a trip to Las Vegas where they all could get along and start to get to know each other. This worked extremely well and helped cement the bonds that they share, which have lasted to this day.

Also Read: “It was quite disrespectful”: Friends Star Felt Uncomfortable on the Show After Being Asked To Do a “Greasy Guy” Scene With Lisa Kudrow


Written by Ananya Godboley

Articles Published: 1118

A poet and art enthusiast, Ananya Godboley is a striving academic who is pursuing a career in Criminal Psychology, currently doing an undergrad degree in Psychology. Passionate about History, Philosophy and Literature, she loves to learn about new and interesting subjects. A writer for FandomWire with over 1000 published articles, she adores all things superhero and Taylor Swift.