Courteney Cox: Friends was strict

Courteney Cox

Courteney Cox says Friends was “free within a structure”.

The 49-year-old actress played uptight Monica in the long-running US sitcom, which also starred Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc.

These days many comedy actors will talk with glee about the adlibs they were allowed to do while shooting films, but it wasn’t like that on the TV show.

“Not so much,” Courteney told British magazine Hello! when asked if they improvised. “Those writers were amazing. Of course, we would have pitches, but we would pitch it and then it would go into the script. It wouldn’t just be a free-for-all. The writers were there when we had the audience and they would come in between takes and say, ‘Try this line, try this line.’ It was very free, but free within a structure.”

Friends finished in 2004 after being on screen for a decade. It’s still shown in many places nowadays and Courteney remains delighted by its popularity. She now appears on the show Cougar Town and can’t help thinking about how much has changed on the small screen over the years.

“Yes there are so many things, so many opportunities, which is the great part, but there’s also so much competition. Now it’s tough,” she warned. “Things just go on the air and off the air. I’ve been lucky to have two television series that lasted – Cougar Town has been on for five years and Friends was on for ten.”

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