Friends Director Reveals Struggle to Work with “Not Funny” Helen Baxendale – No Time to Recast David Schwimmer, as No One to Bounce Off
In a recent interview, Friends director James Burrows opened up about the challenges he faced while working on the hit sitcom. He revealed that one of the main struggles was with actress Helen Baxendale, who played the character of Emily Waltham.
Burrows explained that Baxendale’s lack of comedic timing made it difficult for the cast and crew to work with her. He stated that comedy is all about timing and delivering lines in a way that elicits laughter from the audience. Unfortunately, Baxendale struggled with this aspect of her performance, which created a challenging environment on set.
The director also mentioned that recasting the role of Ross Geller, played by David Schwimmer, was not an option due to time constraints. Schwimmer had established a strong rapport with the rest of the cast, and finding someone new to fill his shoes would have been a daunting task. Burrows emphasized that having a strong ensemble cast was crucial to the show’s success, and replacing Schwimmer would have disrupted the dynamic that had been established over the years.
Despite the difficulties, Burrows acknowledged that Baxendale did her best and brought her own unique qualities to the character of Emily. He praised her professionalism and dedication to the role, even though her comedic timing did not align with the rest of the cast.
The interview shed light on the behind-the-scenes challenges faced by the Friends production team. It highlighted the importance of chemistry and timing in creating a successful sitcom. While Baxendale may have struggled with the comedic aspects of her role, her contribution to the show should still be recognized.
Photo by Jill Burrow on Pexels.