Jennifer Grey’s departure from the role of Mindy in the TV show “Friends” was due to her struggle with anxiety. Grey explained in a 2023 interview that while she was initially excited to be a part of the show, the constant changes to the script caused her severe anxiety. This anxiety made it challenging for her to perform, leading her to decline returning to the show when asked. As a result, the role was recast with Jana Marie Hupp for the episode where Mindy and Barry get married.
Grey’s battle with anxiety wasn’t limited to her time on “Friends.” Previously, she experienced a severe panic attack during a Broadway play in 1993 when a prop was not placed as expected. The incident led her to momentarily step away from acting. However, in 2010, Grey faced her fears by participating in ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” She revealed that her experience on the show was therapeutic for her anxiety and marked a significant personal triumph, particularly as she became the oldest woman to win the celebrity ballroom competition at 50 years old.
Despite her challenges with anxiety, Grey’s participation in “Dancing with the Stars” served as a pivotal moment in her life, allowing her to confront and overcome her fears while achieving success on a public platform.