Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lisa Kudrow's Split Personality She Divides Her Time between `Friends' and `Mad about You'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lisa Kudrow's Split Personality She Divides Her Time between `Friends' and `Mad about You'

Article excerpt

MOST ACTORS yearn for a steady job in a television series. Lisa Kudrow has two: the naive, offbeat Phoebe in "Friends" and the ditzy waitress Ursula in "Mad About You."

Series TV can consume the lives of those who labor on them. So how on earth does Kudrow manage two shows?

"It pretty much depends on `Friends,' because that's what I have a contract with," she explained. "It's worked out pretty well. Whenever `Mad About You' needs me, they call up `Friends' and say, `Do you think it could happen?'

"If I'm not heavy in that week's show, I can do it. Because `Mad About You' is just a few lines for me. I can pretty much just show up on Friday night when they shoot their show. I've done that a couple of times, though it makes me feel nervous.

"The last time I did it, I showed up about 20 minutes before they started their shooting. I was a little confused, but it worked so well for the character."

Kudrow, 32, has floppy bleach-blond hair and a casual manner befitting a Valley Girl. Except for her years as a biology major at Vassar College, Lisa Kudrow is a Californian, through and through. She grew up in the San Fernando Valley and returned to LA to find an occupation. She decided against medicine, which her father and brother pursued. Acting hadn't occurred to her.

"I had a pretty harsh opinion of actors," she confessed. - "Especially actresses. I'd see them on talk shows, and they were all so phony. They weren't real people, they seemed to make one bad life-decision after another, always getting divorced.

"When I graduated from college and came back here, two things happened: 1. Jon Lovitz, my brother's best friend, got on `Saturday Night Live'; 2. For the first time I realized this can actually happen, it's not just some pipe dream.

"More than anything else, I said, `You're only 21-22. This is the time to try something like this, so later on you don't regret that you never gave it a shot. You don't have kids, you're not married, you don't have house payments. …

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