Janice actor from Friends makes admission about her laugh which changes how you watch entire show
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Maggie Wheeler, the woman behind one of television's most iconic laughs, has revealed a secret behind Janice's ear-splitting screech on Friends.
The New Yorker played Janice, the annoying but hilarious love interest of long-suffering Chandler Bing in the hit 90s comedy.
Despite the loud laugh becoming beloved throughout the world, Wheeler wasn’t always so confident she’d land the now iconic role.
However, she struggled to land a major role and was made redundant from her only regular role in Ellen - leaving Wheeler devastated.
On an episode of the Junkyard Theory podcast, she described the experience as ‘brutal’ and ‘devastating’ as she reflected on her early career.
“Heads need to roll and mine was the first to go…” she admitted, adding: “I never thought I’d survive it. I never thought I would leave the house again. I never thought I would work again…”
It was as she recovered when the audition for Friends came through, asking for a fast-talking New Yorker – something Wheeler was incredibly familiar with.
Paying tribute to the nasal-sounding women she grew up with, she read the Bullwinkle sock speech with her now iconic voice.
While the scene from season one is undoubtedly side-splitting, Wheeler said she wasn’t so sure she’d got the part when she watched the showrunners’ reaction.
“I saw Marta [Kauffman], David [Crane] and Kevin do this,” she laughed as she leant backwards, adding: “…they just sat back like they’d seen a ghost and I thought uh-oh.”
She continued: “I thought well I guess it was fun for me and not for them.”
However, the TV execs were spellbound and almost instantly called Wheeler back to cast her in the guest role.
But it turns out that her iconic 'Janice laugh' didn't come naturally.
Having landed the role of a lifetime, the actor was desperate for history not to repeat itself but struggled to not crack up in fits of her own laughter around her co-star, Matthew Perry.
Describing her first scene with her hilarious co-star, she said she felt like she was ‘going to lose it’ on set as Perry continuously downed multiple fake espressos.
“I’m like a little schoolgirl, like ‘I don’t wanna get in trouble’,” she joked, saying: “…so, I devised the laugh so that I could cover if Matthew [Perry] made me laugh.”
After using the over-exaggerated laugh in her first scene and making comedy history, Wheeler was signed on as a permanent cast member in what she described as ‘ten years of glorious, amazing work’.