Working on Friends wasn’t just fun and games for the television author Patty Lin – But David SchwimmerHer behavior on the set relieved her stress.
Lin – who was part of it Friends Writing team during Season 7 – recalled Schwimmer’s kind gesture in her new memoir, Credits: How I Broke Up with Hollywood.
“I escaped the dreaded crush, walked onto the set and joined the noisy mob in the hallway,” Lin wrote of the time she starred in the seventh season of The One With All the Candy, which aired in 2000. appeared as an extra. “David Schwimmer, who directed the episode, stopped by to give directions.”
Lin vividly recalled Schwimmer – who played Ross Geller – saying to her, “Patty, can you move closer to the door?” She wrote, “I was thrilled when Schwimmer called me by my name instead of ‘Hey, you’ to say.”
Though she knew the actors from tabletop performances and filming schedules, she explained that it was Schwimmer’s kindness that finally made her feel like she was being seen.
“Really, it takes so little for a celebrity to come across as a decent human being,” she wrote. “Tonight was my high point Friends Experience. For once, I felt like I had something to do with the show.”
Just before Lin filled in as an extra in the episode, she got credit for one of her jokes. Lin told readers that the Friends Witz Huddle was “by far the most stressful part of the job,” especially since she was a drama writer by trade.
During taping of “The One With the Candy,” a Christmas episode in which Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) distributed Christmas treats for the entire building, Lin persuaded Friends co-creator Martha Kauffman with her one-liner.
When Chandler asks Monica why she made candy for the whole apartment, she replies, “We can learn their names and get to know our neighbors.” According to Lin, when Chandler’s initial reaction “didn’t evoke the necessary roar of laughter,” she said, “Would be wouldn’t it be easier if we just moved?”
Lin described Kauffman’s reaction as a “loud laugh that was the most wonderful sound in that moment.” [she’d] ever heard of.”
While Lin enjoyed working under Schwimmer’s direction — and working a good joke into the episode — she noted that the actors’ input was unhelpful most of the time.
“They rarely had anything positive to say, and when they raised problems, they didn’t suggest any workable solutions,” she claimed of the leads’ daily complaints about the scripts. “Since they saw themselves as the characters, they often argued that they would never do or say such and such. … The cast acted like they weren’t just big stars, they were serious actors — though Friends would never be Citizen Kane.”
Friends – which ran for ten seasons from 1994 to 2004 – with Schwimmer, 56, Cox, 59, Perry, 54, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow And Matt LeBlanc. For her part, Lin only worked on the series for one season, but later wrote for her Desperate Housewives And breaking Bad before retiring from television writing in 2008.
Credits: How I Broke Up with Hollywood is now on the bookshelves – and available for purchase here.