https://youtu.be/i_iTqor1TNA

Are there actors who are so alluring, they bring them back for recurring roles? Yeah, it happens all the time. I can think of one right here. See this cutie I’ll show you. So she was in the pilot of Friends and they kept he because she was so good. They kept bringing her back for more episodes. Ultimately, she was in five episodes of Friends playing Jasmine who worked with Phoebe and the massage parlor. How she did it was, whenever she acted, it was always in service of the story. That’s how she approached every scene. So she was not just a great comedic actress. She knew how to serve as the story. And I remember working with her. How do I know all this, by the way, she’s my wife. Oh, I left that out. This cutie is my wife, but at the time, we were just dating. 

I remember we were working on that scene, the episode was the break-up. So when Ross and Rachel were on a break, you know, Ross tries to cover his tracks and he traces her down to the massage parlor. And then he sees Jasmine. And Jasmine says you did a bad thing. I know. Very, very bad. Yeah. I know. I know. Very, very bad. Right. And so the choice that Cynthia made in that scene in service of the story, was to act as if Ross not only cheated on Rachel, but Ross had cheated on Jasmine. That heightened Ross’s guilt and he knew it was going to be even harder to get Rachel to forgive him because everyone was against him. And so she made a lot of choices in that scene. 

I remember working with her on that scene and that’s what she ultimately decided was to pile onto the plate as if she was hurt herself. And so an actor gets many choices obviously, but they all have to be in service of the story. By the way, I met Cynthia about a year earlier on Just Shoot Me where I was a writer and she was a guest star. So that’s what made her really good. She was always serving the story.

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Michael Jamin, Showrunner, TV Writer, Author

Michael Jamin

For the past 26 years, Michael Jamin has been a professional television writer/showrunner. His credits include King of the Hill, Beavis & Butthead, Wilfred, Maron, Just Shoot Me, Rules of Engagement, Brickleberry, Tacoma FD and many more.

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