'Dirty Dancing' star Jennifer Grey says she didn't return to 'Friends' because of 'bad anxiety'
- Jennifer Grey guest starred on "Friends" during its premiere season as Mindy.
- She recently told Media Village she declined to reprise her role even after being asked to return.
In its premiere season, Grey guest starred as Mindy, Rachel's former bestie and maid of honor, in a 1995 episode titled, "The One With the Evil Orthodontist."
In episode 20, viewers learn that Grey's Mindy had an affair with Barry, the orthodontist who also dated Rachel (Jennifer Aniston).
"I was a fan of the show and I got the call to do it," she told MediaVillage in a recent interview. "Then when I did it, I had such bad anxiety because they kept changing the script."
"It's very hard to be a guest star because you're not a part of it, and you're really trying to figure it all out," Grey continued. "They were trying to figure out what the character was, what the scene was, and it was changing, and changing, and changing. It all made me so anxious that I could barely do it."
When Grey was later asked to return to the series, she declined to reprise her role so it eventually went to Jana Marie Hupp ("Ed," "Vision Quest"). She also refused to guest star in another NBC series, "Saturday Night Live."
"It makes me sad that I would say no to continuing on 'Friends' or doing 'Saturday Night Live' because of my anxiety. The truth is, I wished I had people to help me navigate that kind of fear," Grey said. "But I couldn't be there until I was there."
Grey said that despite those challenges, they taught her a very important lesson in life, which was that "everything you do in life, especially the hard things, the really painful, difficult things, are usually the things that are the most instructive and helpful."
Grey wasn't the only actor who guest-starred on "Friends." Ellen Pompeo, Sean Penn, and Gabrielle Union also popped up in the hit NBC comedy.
"Friends," which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004, was centered on six friends living in New York City. It starred Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer.
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