When it comes to staying power, few television shows can compete with Friends. Sure, some may debate whether the series was actually good, but there’s no denying its immense impact on pop culture or the fact that millions of fans remain devoted to the sitcom and its fictional characters.
It’s these characters — their quirks, their trials, their growth — that really drive the show and make it timeless. The references, fashion, and hairstyles may get outdated, but watching young adults figure out their lives through friendship and flailing never gets old.
One of those characters is Monica Geller. Surprisingly, actor Courteney Cox — who portrayed Monica — is more like her on-screen counterpart than many fans know.
Courteney Cox has had a successful career outside of ‘Friends’
Friends premiered in 1994 and acted as a launching pad for the careers of its six primary cast members: Cox (as Monica Geller), Lisa Kudrow (as Phoebe Buffay), Jennifer Aniston (as Rachel Green), Matt LeBlanc (as Joey Tribbiani), Matthew Perry (as Chandler Bing), and David Schwimmer (as Ross Geller). Living nearly impossibly swanky New York lifestyles, these six friends navigated the ups and downs of young adulthood with their close connection to one another at the center.
The series ran for an astounding 10 seasons before wrapping up in 2004.
For most of the actors, finding their footing after a decade of playing some of the most popular and well-known characters in pop culture was difficult. Perhaps it was because fans had a hard time seeing them as something other than their Friends personas. Whatever the case, most of the stars arguably peaked with the sitcom.
Cox, however, had a successful career beyond Friends — second only to Jennifer Aniston’s.
Courteney Cox has both film and TV in her filmography
Before Friends, Cox was already well on her way in the acting world. Small guest parts in her early days had turned themselves into regular appearances on shows like Family Ties and The Trouble with Larry. Without a doubt, though, Friends is what launched her into fame. Shortly after the series began, Cox was able to land bigger roles in film including the very popular Scream and its sequels.
After Friends wrapped up, she went on to a starring role in Dirt, a short-lived series in which she played an aspiring photojournalist navigating the world of celebrity gossip and tabloids. More successful and long-running was Cougar Town, a sitcom about the lives of those living in a well-off Florida community.
Things have been quieter from the star lately, but she continues to make high-profile guest appearances on series like Modern Family and Shameless, and she has projects in the works, including the mysterious Scream reboot.
Monica Geller and Courteney Cox have some similarities
Each of the Friends characters had some defining characteristics — and, let’s face it, neuroses — that helped set them apart and endear them to fans.
For Monica, those standout features often focused on her Type A personality and hypervigilance when it came to keeping things neat and orderly. Fans of the show who see these qualities in themselves might even refer to themselves as “a Monica” while the more freewheeling viewers might see themselves as “a Phoebe.”
Cox leaned into the characterization by sharing an Instagram post that starts with the words “Tell me you’re a Monica without telling me you’re a Monica.” The star then shows off her extremely organized kitchen.
As People reports, Cox has channeled her inner Monica in real life on multiple occasions. One that really stands out is the recreation of her famous Thanksgiving scene in which she dances with a raw turkey on her head.
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