Friends director James Burrows remarked on his experience on the set, characterising Helen Baxendale as “nice but not funny.”
Emily Waltham, Ross Geller’s love interest, was played by the actress for a brief time in season four, 1998.
They married – after the groom (David Schwimmer) famously spoke Rachel Green’s name at the altar – but it didn’t last, and they divorced in season five.
Despite appearing in only 14 episodes, the 53-year-old made a mark on the director, who detailed his experiences in his latest biography, Directed by James Burrows.
‘She was nice but not particularly funny. Schwimmer had no one to bounce off. It was like clapping with one hand,’ he penned, via the Washington Post.
In a further passage obtained by DailyMail.com, James spoke of how hard it was to recast roles for the program due to tight deadlines.
‘In sitcoms and any type of romantic comedy, the funny is just as important as the chemistry. We discovered that any new girlfriend for Ross needed to be as funny as Rachel,’ he said.
‘Often, you can’t recast, because of tight shooting deadlines or other logistical considerations. You don’t cast anyone to be a straw man, unless it’s for one episode.
‘You need someone who gets laughs. Sometimes you start an arc and it ain’t working out, so you have to get rid of that person. If it’s a day player, it’s a quick goodbye.
‘The reverse is also true. If there’s chemistry, the writers go to work to figure out some way of keeping the actor.’
However, he was openly opposed to one part of the show: Marcel the monkey.
In the first season, Ross introduced his friends to his unusual pet, which caused havoc in his flat.
He finally had to let Marcel go and donated him to the San Diego Zoo, where he went on to become a major movie star in his own right.
While the palaeontologist was heartbroken to say farewell to his canine companion, James was overjoyed.
‘I told everyone who would listen, “When I come back to direct another episode, please, no monkey,”’ the Washington Post reports he added.
Source My Celebrity Life.