Courteney Cox, <EM>Dirt</EM> Courteney Cox, Dirt

Everybody's favorite Friend, Courteney Cox, is switching gears to play a hard-charging tabloid editrix in FX's Dirt (Tuesdays at 10 pm/ET). Here, she shares with TV Guide how she does it. Plus: The latest likelihood of a reunion for Monica, Chandler, Rachel, et al.

TV Guide: You're panting! What's going on?
Courteney Cox:
I'm on an elliptical trainer. I have to knock it out when I can — I have no time!

TV Guide: Mostly because of your new show?
Cox:
It's extremely challenging to star and produce — it takes a toll. I'm having a ball, but I'm glad it's only 13 episodes. I now understand how hard it is on Patricia [Arquette, her sister-in-law, who stars on Medium].

TV Guide: Why would you of all people want to do a show about tab­loids and the paparazzi?
Cox:
When I was pregnant, I was harassed by the paparazzi because they are completely obsessed with babies. I got into major fight-or-flight mode. My hormones were raging, I couldn't get calm, and I did stupid things. They were chasing me from the front, the back, the side, and I tried to outrun them. It was terrible.

TV Guide: Do they still hound you?
Cox:
Almost every day. If I get a facial, they're there. If I go to my office, they're there. We were followed all the way to Disneyland by five paparazzi cars on my daughter's birthday.

TV Guide: What did you do?
Cox:
[Laughs] Some weird part of me said, "Oh, he drove all the way to Anaheim," so we did some stupid posed shot. But then I said, "OK, you have to come meet with the writers of my show." I felt like, "If you are going to invade my life, give me something."

TV Guide: What is the dumbest thing the tab­loids ever printed about you?
Cox:
Back in the day, when they said I was anorexic. I could not be further from anorexic. I love food way too much.

TV Guide: What does your pal Jennifer Anis­ton think of the show?
Cox:
She loves it. She thought it was beautifully shot, and she knows this is a show that is fun and not to be taken seriously.

TV Guide: Will her run-ins with the tabloids — and those of your other famous friends — become script fodder?
Cox:
Well, one friend of mine was on her honeymoon, and a photographer literally dug himself into a hole — I called it a grave — and covered himself and took pictures. We used that in the opening shots.

TV Guide: So we might recognize some of the incidents?
Cox:
Not really. You might think a story is about Denise Richards and Heather Locklear, but it isn't. There are stories about the "Hollywood Girls" — it doesn't mean we're talking about Paris and Nicole, who are actually two nice girls. We are not trying to take anyone down.

TV Guide: What's your advice for the Parises and Nicoles of young Hollywood?
Cox:
Don't take it personally.

TV Guide: Meaning?
Cox:
I have never gotten involved in caring what people write about me. I would care what you wrote about me. But as far as made-up stories? That never bothered me.

TV Guide: Your husband, David Arquette, has his own new series [ABC's In Case of Emergency] starting this month. How do you make time to see each other?
Cox:
Right now it is hard. We are working the same long hours; and when he gets done he wants to go to a Lakers game, and I don't blame him. So right now it is difficult as far as being able to connect. But we work together really well, and we are doing great considering the circumstances.

TV Guide: Does your daughter, Coco, come to the set?
Cox:
Every day. And she holds court. She loves to sit in the makeup chair and put on lipstick and makeup. Then she goes right to the set. She doesn't even wait for me — she just starts talking to everybody. It's going to be hard to keep her out of the entertainment business.

TV Guide: She's 2 1/2 now. Time for a sibling?
Cox: I think about it, and we talk about it. It wasn't easy the first time, but I have to figure out how to time this. It does take work.

TV Guide: So here's the question people will always want to know: Will there ever be a Friends reunion?
Cox:
It would be fun, but the chances of getting everybody together are so slim. So do I think it will happen? Absolutely not.

Send your comments on this Q&A to letters@tvguide.com