Lisa Kudrow Didn't Like Starring As Her Character's Twin On Friends

Everyone remembers Lisa Kudrow's remarkable take on Phoebe Buffay — the offbeat, hilarious "Friends” character who marched to the beat of her own drum. And though none of the other main characters fit the normal mold, Phoebe saw life in a way that not even her five closest pals always understood. But that was a part of the fun! To this day, fans love her sunny-side-up personality. Fans also loved her terrible, out-of-tune singing. Plus, Taylor Swift even brought Kudrow on stage to perform her signature hit, "Smelly Cat." With that said, Kudrow also played a second character named Ursula Buffay — Phoebe's twin sister.

Ironically, Phoebe's twin was super different. While Phoebe at least tried to make the best of her peculiar life, Ursula was a walking mood swing, who sucked the joy out of rooms. Ursula was also notorious for not caring much about anything — especially her upbeat sister. Not only did Ursula sell Phoebe's birth certificate, but she also hid their mother's suicide from her. And that's not even half the story! Despite these deeply rooted flaws, Ursula was a great way for Kudrow to step outside of her normal routine and embrace a grittier side of comedy. Unfortunately, Kudrow didn't exactly enjoy the experience of playing Ursula. Here's why.

Lisa Kudrow hated having to use a body double

Fans may have loved seeing Lisa Kudrow play against herself on "Friends," but she certainly did not. According to Kevin S. Bright, who directed part of the series, Kudrow wasn't a fan. "[Lisa] did not like acting with a double, and in a way she might have made it more difficult for herself because her double was her actual sister, [Helena]," shared Bright during the Tribeca TV Festival (via Entertainment Weekly). The director also noted the possible stress Kudrow put on her sister as one reason she didn't like those scenes. "But it ended up being a lot of fun when you put it together," added Bright.

Fortunately, Kudrow didn't have to suffer through too many Phoebe and Ursula scenes, as Ursula only appeared (in-person) in eight episodes of "Friends," according to Fandom. However, she was named three more times. Her last onscreen appearance came in 2001's "The One With The Halloween Party." During the episode, Ursula further proved why she was the worst sister ever by nonchalantly informing Phoebe about her upcoming wedding. "Why not, you could be my 'sister' for the day," said Ursula after reluctantly inviting her.

Why Ursula was different on Friends

"Friends" didn't mark the first time that Ursula Buffay graced television screens. Before Lisa Kudrow was on "Friends," she periodically appeared as Ursula on "Mad About You." "I was starting to run out of money, and Danny Jacobson from 'Mad About You' called my agent, like, at the last minute," and laid out their offer for her to appear on the show, shared Kudrow during an Emmy TV Legends interview. And though Kudrow only had an hour to prepare for her role, she was confident about her improvisational skills. "By the end of the week, Danny Jacobson said, 'You're really funny. Would you be okay if we wrote you into five more episodes?"

Eventually, Kudrow landed a starring role on "Friends," which obviously became her day job. But Ursula also appeared on there was well. And while she wasn't exactly the Ursula from "Mad About You," there's a great reason for that. During a different clip of the interview, Kudrow explained that, because "Friends" and "Mad About You" both aired on NBC back-to-back, the show's producers felt the need to explain why she was appearing on both shows. Their solution was to allow Ursula from "Mad About You" appear on "Friends" as Phoebe's twin with an altered personality. "I think it was the 'Friends' writers who decided that Ursula was this evil person," shared Kudrow. "Maybe they didn't like that they had to include her."