'Friends' star discusses Holocaust, nose job and bias among college friends.
Jewish Week Correspondent
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Actor Lisa Kudrow's relatives lost in the Holocaust, her own experiences with anti-Semitism, and her decision to get a nose job were among the topics she discussed in a lengthy interview with the Saturday Evening Post.
Kudrow is best known for her role on "Friends" as Phoebe Buffay, as well as comedic film roles such as "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" and her Internet series, "Web Therapy," recently seen on Showtime. But there was nothing funny about the hate she encountered as a student at Vassar College, she said in the interview.
"In college there was more anti-Semitism than before college," she explained, "Because there were people who never met a Jew before. A friend of mine, when she found out I was Jewish, said, 'Really? Oh, I don’t like Jews.'”
She mentioned taking Jewish history classes and learning Hebrew during her time at Vassar, as well as asking Elie Wiesel for his autograph. ("How do you get any bigger than that?").
Our society worships youth. Rarely do older people appear in popular culture, and when they do, they are often treated as objects of ridicule.
Enter Peter L. Levy’s play, “Friends,” about two elderly Jewish New Yorkers, each of whom claims the right to a park bench in Central Park. Over time their turf battle morphs into friendship, and then romance. When Levy’s play first ran in San Francisco in 2003, Dan Pine of the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California noted the play’s “uniquely wistful Jewish air.”