Legendary sitcom director James Burrows is throwing some serious shade toward this actress!
The 82-year-old has no doubt come across a lot of faces and personalities during his work in over 1000 episodes of shows like Cheers, The Big Bang Theory, and Friends — and with that many people, he’s bound to come across a few he doesn’t click with!
In his new memoir Directed by James Burrows, he gets really brutal when it comes to his opinion of Helen Baxendale — AKA the British ex-girlfriend of Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), Emily Waltham, in Friends.
Helen was in the show for a mere fourteen episodes between season four and five of the sitcom, but that was apparently enough for James to say her comedy style “was like clapping with one hand” (ouch):
“She was nice but not particularly funny. Schwimmer had no one to bounce off. It was like clapping with one hand. In sitcoms and any type of romantic comedy, the funny is just as important as the chemistry.”
At this point, the director claims he wanted to fire and replace the actress, but it was too late:
“Often, you can’t recast, because of tight shooting deadlines or other logistical considerations. You don’t cast anyone to be a straw man, unless it’s for one episode. You need someone who gets laughs. Sometimes you start an arc and it ain’t working out, so you have to get rid of that person. If it’s a day player, it’s a quick goodbye. The reverse is also true. If there’s chemistry, the writers go to work to figure out some way of keeping the actor.”
Yeesh… Was her acting and comedy really THAT bad he felt the need to call her out all these years later?? It seems a little petty, no??
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