Friday Jan 27, 2023
Maggie Wheeler, who played the role of Janice in Friends, revealed she created her character's famous "laugh" to survive working with "funny" Matthew Perry.
In an interview with OK! Magazine, the Parent Trap star said it was the “greatest challenge to not crack up” while acting with Perry.
So to survive Perry in the NBC show, Wheeler came up with the annoying laugh. "Whenever you get to work with a genius, it makes you better," the 61-year-old said.
"It was a gift to be able to play off of him and to enjoy him. It was the greatest challenge to not crack up in the middle of shooting!” Wheeler shared.
“Since I was not a regular, the regulars cracked up all the time — it was part of their daily work day, but I was a little bit more uptight about it."
"I'm like, 'Well, I don't want to slow things down! I don't want to hold up everyone.' That is why I created Janice's laugh so that I could survive Matthew because he's so funny," the actor continued.
Wheeler did not know that Janice’s laugh would be a global phenomenon. "I was just thinking, 'He's going to make me laugh, so I better be able to laugh as Janice,'" she quipped.
"I was so excited and thrilled when they brought me back a second time because I'm like, 'Wow, she gets to come back again,' and then again and again.”
She added, “It's such an unexpected thing that happened, and it couldn't have been a better, more wonderful opportunity.”
Despite doing other projects, Wheeler is best known for her role in the comedy show. "I fully embrace her. She's my pal and she lives in me. I'm happy to pull her out and make people laugh," she said.