Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey shares why her Friends character was recast

jennifer grey
Dirty Dancing star talks Friends appearanceEmma McIntyre - Getty Images

Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey has revealed why her character in Friends was recast.

The actress played Mindy Hunter, the best friend of Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel Green, for just one episode in 1995 during the sitcom’s first season before Jana Marie Hupp took on the role in season two.

Speaking to MediaVillage, Grey revealed that she was excited at the prospect of appearing on the show initially, but decided to depart the role due to "bad anxiety".

jennifer grey
Emma McIntyre - Getty Images

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"I was a fan of the show, and I got the call to do it," she said. "Then when I did it, I had such bad anxiety because they kept changing the script. 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.

"They were trying to figure out what the character was, what the scene was, and it was [constantly] changing. It made me so anxious that I could barely do it," she continued. "I didn't know at the time what was going on with me, but I had a lot of performance anxiety, and I just didn't understand at that time that I needed help in the anxiety department."

During season two, Grey was asked to reprise the role of Mindy. "When they asked me to come back, I said I couldn't," she said. "They got someone else to play the role. It makes me sad that I would say no 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."

jennifer aniston jennifer grey friends
NBC - Getty Images

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Friends aired for 10 seasons and 236 episodes before its finale in 2004, with Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow remaining good friends to this day.

The trio recently reunited to see Cox be inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with Aniston saying: "We're very honoured to be here today to speak on your behalf, as your co-workers, friends, family, your sisters. We've known you for a very long time.

"To be friends with Courteney is to be family with Courteney, and she is responsible for all of that. From the beginning of when we met her, she was immediately inclusive, warm, loving, interested in everything about you," she concluded.

Friends streams on Netflix in the UK, where it also airs daily on Comedy Central. In the US, you can stream the show on HBO Max.

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