Jennifer Grey has divulged why she did not reprise her role on Friends.
The Dirty Dancing star played Mindy in the hit sitcom. Mindy is Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston) former best friend and maid of honour, who ended up marrying her fiancé Barry (Mitchell Whitfield).
Grey starred in only one episode of Friends in 1995, titled “The One With The Evil Orthodontist”.
During an interview with MediaVillage, Grey disclosed why she did not play the character again despite having been excited about the role initially.
“When I did it, I had such bad anxiety because they kept changing the script,” she explained.
“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.”
The actor 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.”
Grey said at the time she did not understand the emotions she was feeling but later came to understand them as “performance anxiety”.
“I had a lot of performance anxiety, and I just didn’t understand at that time that I needed help in the anxiety department,” she said.
Grey went on to explain that she turned down an opportunity to star on Saturday Night Live for similar reasons. “I said, ‘No.’ I was just too scared,” recalled the actor.
When Grey was asked to reprise her role as Mindy, she felt she couldn’t and they had to enlist a different actor.
“They got someone else to play the role,” she recalled. “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. But I couldn’t be there until I was there.”
Jana Marie Hupp was recast as the character of Mindy.
Grey continued: “In life, I always learn more from things that you feel like a failure at, and the successes, you don’t learn as much, although, they might be fun. But it’s all a part of life.”
Last year, Grey spoke about her off-screen relationship with her late co-star Patrick Swayze.