Courteney Cox was the only “Friends” cast member who wasn’t nominated for an Emmy.
Now, the golden lady could be hers for “Cougar Town.”
When the nominations are announced Thursday, she’s expected to be among the Best Actress in a Comedy Series category.
The reason: Physical comedy.
As the forty-something real estate agent looking for love, she’s constantly climbing, clamoring and collapsing in ways that draw laughs.
“I love physical comedy,” she explains. “I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’m kinda goofy anyway.”
Sometimes the pratfalls are easy. Sometimes they’re painful. “I had an operation on my knees and it can hurt if I fall the wrong way. But I still play tennis.”
Because she had just spent considerable time producing and starring in “Dirt,” Cox wasn’t eager to slip into another show right away. But Executive Producer Bill Lawrence crafted “Cougar Town” with her in mind and the result is one of those once-in-a-lifetime things.
“It’s the greatest experience I’ve had,” Cox says. “Our company conceived ‘Dirt.’ We hired the writer. It became his creation and I wasn’t going to be in it. But Bill is writing for my personality. He knows what will make me shine…I haven’t had that before.”
The two enjoyed a shake-down cruise on Lawrence’s previous show, “Scrubs.” Cox was a guest star.
“And she was the easiest and most fun person to work with,” Lawrence says.
They began batting around ideas and Lawrence hit upon the idea of featuring a divorced woman in her 40s.
“Getting older is hard anyway but living in Hollywood’s exceptionally hard doing it,” Cox says. “What I love about this character is everything’s real. It would be really scary if I wasn’t married and I had to go back out there again. And it is true. Most men date women who are younger.”
The “cougar” aspect? That’s the older woman/younger man angle.
While researching, the two discovered there were all sorts of versions — pumas, jaguars, saber-tooths, panthers.
Cox’s “Friends” co-star Jennifer Aniston is making a movie called “Pumas” but, she says, it’s not a rip-off. Indeed, Lawrence would like Aniston to make a guest appearance.
“You write her a character,” Cox says, “and I”m sure she’ll be glad to do it. Jennifer loves the show.”
So does Cox’s 6-year-old daughter Coco. She visits the set frequently and has fallen for Dan Byrd, the young actor who plays Cox’s son. “She does love older men,” mom says.
To prove she’s game for just about anything, Cox let Lawrence film a scene in which she’s bemoaning her belly fat. She stands in a mirror and adjusts a layer of skin.
“I’ve been doing that forever,” Cox admits. “(Husband David Arquette) is always saying to me, ‘Courteney, please put your shirt down and stop showing everyone your belly.’ Once I had a kid, I was fascinated by that whole thing. So I do that…and I do have that skin.”
Lawrence says it’s really hard to make his star look bad but “she has been really candid about the smoke and mirrors of Hollywood.” She openly tells people a team has worked on her before she looks glamorous at an industry event.
Now, she faces the likelihood of walking Emmy’s red carpet.
A nomination for “Cougar Town”? It’s entirely possible thanks to a new friend named Bill.