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In 1995, on the set of the first season of Friends, Jennifer Gray suffered from such crippling anxiety that she couldn’t play Mindy Hunter once again, ex-best friend and bridesmaid of Rachel (played by Jennifer Aniston) who was in a relationship with her boyfriend Barry. In an interview released last Friday to MediaVillage the star of Dirty Dancing, who first recalled the happiness she felt for the engagement call for the TV series, of which she was a great fan, then confided that she changed her attitude once on the set. “When I did that, I had a guy anxiety problem because they kept changing the script. It’s very difficult being a guest star because you’re not part of the project, and you’re really trying to figure everything out. They were trying to figure out who the character was, what scene it was, and it was changing and changing and changing. It all made me so anxious that I could barely shoot the scene”.
A RELEVANT OBSTACLE
At the time, Gray couldn’t decipher her own emotions, “but I had a lot performance anxiety, and at the time I didn’t realize that I needed help coping with anxiety”. However, once the episode was completed, the actress became aware of the fact that “everything you do in life, especially the difficult experiences, the really painful, difficult experiences, are usually the experiences that are most instructive and helpful. In life, I learn more and more from experiences that one perceives as a failure. You don’t learn much from successes, even though they might be fun. But it’s all part of life.” However, the anxiety problems have prevented the actress from further opportunities for career“like when they asked me to do the Saturday Night LiveI just couldn’t. I said no”. I was just too scared.” For the role of Mindy in subsequent episodes of Friends another actress was then engaged, Jana Marie Hupp: “When they asked me to come back, I said I couldn’t. They took another to play the role. It makes me sad that I said no to continue Friends or do the Saturday Night Live because of my anxiety. The truth is, I wish I had people like that help me to deal with that kind of fear.”