By Natalie Stone / People
August 23, 2016

Oh. My. Gawd!

Maggie Wheeler, who played the iconic character Janice Litman on Friends, doesn’t sound anything like her comedy series character.

The Friends character became a well-known – and beloved – face on the 1990s show for her memorable “Oh. My. Gawd!” catchphrase, which some viewers assumed was her real-life voice.

During a sit-down interview with ITV’s This Morning, the 55-year-old actress revealed how she came up with her memorable phrase and laugh.

“It was just this progression – how Janice evolved, how the writers created the character for me,” the actress, who played Chandler Bing’s (played by Matthew Perry) on-and-off girlfriend on the show.

“So the laugh happened organically in the first rehearsal, because I needed to find a way to laugh, because Matthew Perry is so funny,” she admitted.

She added that the laugh came about as a form of cover-up for when she would break out of character in laughter because of Perry.

“And working with him, I knew right away, I thought, ‘This guy’s gonna make me laugh on set, I’ve gotta be prepared. What am I going to do?’ So I created Janice’s laugh just as a safety measure for when Matthew made me laugh.”

Even Wheeler was shocked that Janice became one of the most iconic characters on the WB show.

“It was always a surprise that she continued to have a life on the show. I was always so thrilled every time the writers decided to bring me back,” she said. “It started out as a one-shot deal – come in, do one episode – and out of that came 10 years of this extraordinary, joyful experience.”

This article originally appeared on People.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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