Lisa Kudrow is grateful to her 'Friends' character Phoebe Buffay for showing her how to have fun.

The 47-year-old actress had nothing in Common with the kooky masseuse she portrayed in the sitcom for 10 years but says she will always be grateful to Phoebe for making her more "optimistic" as a person.

She explained: "Thanks to Phoebe, I don't have to worry - I can have fun.

"Phoebe was very far from who I was as a person. But part of her definitely rubbed off on me, inspired me to be more optimistic."

In Lisa's latest TV show 'Web Therapy' she stars as narcissistic counsellor Fiona Wallice- who treats her patients badly - and the actress is thrilled to play someone so different from both Phoebe and herself.

She told the Los Angeles Times newspaper: "This type of character is certainly a risk but I can't help it. There's just something about not doing what the audience expects of you. People who think they're pulling something off when the rest of the world can see right through them have always struck me as funny. They make me laugh a lot."

Writer-and-director Don Roos believes the audience will be shocked to see Lisa portray an unlikeable character.

He said: "Lisa is playing someone who is definitely not America's sweetheart. It's very hard to be sympathetic toward Fiona. She's a ruthless, narcissistic therapist. It's amazing to see Lisa play someone who is not so adorable."