CULVER CITY, Calif. - These "Friends" like sticking together.
Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow, who starred as Monica Geller and Phoebe Buffay for 10 seasons on NBC's "Friends," have reteamed for Wednesday's episode of "Cougar Town," Cox's ABC comedy that earned her a Golden Globe nomination for her role as zany divorcee Jules Cobb. Kudrow guest stars as a nasty dermatologist who digs her claws into Cobb's ex-husband.
"I get to play a really mean person," teased Kudrow, "so that's really fun."
During a break from filming the episode last November, the duo - who are pals in real life, as evidenced by their unabashed banter - chatted about working opposite each other again. (Last year, Cox guest starred on Kudrow's wry online improv series, "Web Therapy," as a psychic looking to get her sixth sense back from Kudrow's matter-of-fact therapist.)
Kudrow insisted she would have taken just about any role offered on "Cougar Town," as long as it didn't require any nudity, something that apparently hasn't been an issue for the 45-year-old star of the show, who has taken it off in the name of laughs on more than one occasion since "Cougar Town" debuted on ABC last September to over 11 million viewers.
"I've turned a corner," Cox said jokingly. "Now that I'm this age, I've decided to go as nude as possible."
"You look great," Kudrow extolled.
"No, Lisa, I'm lit well," Cox retorted.
"Well, I could be on the surface of the sun, and it wouldn't look good," Kudrow quipped.
Cox said there was an open invitation for all her "Friends" co-stars - Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and Jennifer Aniston - to stop by "Cougar Town," but she was most anxious for a visit from Kudrow, a Groundlings improv vet who starred in such films as "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" and "Wonderland" during her "Friends" tenure.
"I really wanted Lisa to be on the show, if she would," said Cox. "First of all, she's so unbelievably talented. I knew she'd go out there and play a really fun character, so it just kind of worked out perfectly for her to play a dermatologist that is very judgmental and not nice. She takes those risks. ... It was great."
After "Friends" ended in 2004, both actresses returned to TV in leading roles on their own series. The 46-year-old Kudrow starred for one season as faded sitcom star Valerine Cherish on the HBO faux-reality series "The Comeback," while Cox spent two seasons as cutthroat editor Lucy Spiller on the FX tabloid drama "Dirt."
"Friends" fans should not anticipate a full-blown reunion of the Central Perk denizens - either on "Cougar Town" or the big screen. Kudrow and Cox insisted "Friends" co-creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman have never pitched the pair an idea for "Friends: The Movie" despite the success of "Sex and the City" at strutting from HBO into multiplexes in 2008.
"'Sex and the City' was already filmic," said Kudrow. "It was a single-camera show that was like a half-hour movie every week, anyway. Our show was multi-camera in front of an audience. Whenever movie versions of those types of shows have been done, they've been sort of satirical. Maybe in 10 more years, other people will play us and make fun of it."