Lisa Kudrow's Son Is All Grown Up And Stunning

Lisa Kudrow and her husband, Michel Stern, are parents to their son, Julian Murray Stern, and he has changed Kudrow's life. "Nothing on planet Earth prepares you for being a mother," she told People in 2018. Motherhood has allowed her to tap into her emotions — even making it easier to tackle challenging acting scenarios. "It's filled me up more for emotional things," Kudrow said of becoming a parent (via AZ Central). "That's a really good thing! With moments like crying, there are so many different things you can do if being in a scene doesn't get you crying. Just about anything about my child makes me cry." 

The "Web Therapy" actor has also experienced another side to parenting: fear. "Being a mom made me fear for the first time in my life. The stakes felt huge," she told Redbook. "I thought I was going to wake up and know exactly what to do, and I was very disappointed when I didn't."

Stern and his relationship with his famous mom is interesting, and he has followed in her footsteps by pursuing a career in the entertainment industry — although he currently prefers to be behind the camera, which is perhaps not surprising, because he was raised away from the limelight. Meet Julian Murray Stern, Lisa Kudrow's only child. 

Lisa Kudrow's pregnancy altered the storyline in Friends

Lisa Kudrow's portrayal of Phoebe Buffay in the sitcom "Friends" is arguably her most iconic role. The show ran for 10 seasons, and the cast lived through many of their own milestones while filming. Kudrow was pregnant with her son, Julian Murray Stern, in 1997, and her pregnancy was written into her storyline in Season 4 and Season 5. The pregnancy plot involves Phoebe's brother, Frank Buffay Jr., asking her if she would be a surrogate for him and his wife. She agrees.

Stern was born May 7, 1998, and Kudrow has spoken about being pregnant on set. "When I was pregnant, then they would say, 'Have a great show, love you, love you — love you, little Julian!' 'Cause we knew it was a boy, and that was his name," she told People in 2018 of the pre-show ritual she had with her co-stars. "So sweet, they included my little fetus in the huddle." As a child, Stern did hang around the set, which bothered Kudrow. "A set really isn't a place for a toddler to be running around. It wasn't a fun place for him," she said on the podcast "Literally! With Rob Lowe" in 2021.

But her co-stars, specifically Jennifer Aniston, made her son feel loved. "She's a lovebug, and that made sense. And I was always glad for anyone that Julian felt love for and felt from," Kudrow said on "Conan" of how her son gravitated toward Aniston.

Julian's comments on his mom's iconic role left her unimpressed

Julian Murray Stern was amused when he watched "Friends" for the first time, but Lisa Kudrow was less impressed by his comments. In an appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" in 2022, Kudrow said Stern found the male characters more funny than the female leads. "Never in my life have I wanted to tell my own kid, like, f*** you. I mean, I thought it. I didn't say it," the actor joked. "It's not required that you're a fan. You don't have to like what I do. But don't be so demeaning!"

Kudrow isn't the biggest fan of watching herself on "Friends," but she told The Saturday Evening Post in 2014 that she occasionally watched it with Stern. "Sometimes my son will come in, and we'll see it, and he'll have questions — mostly what he wants to know is, 'So how old was I when you did that one?'" she said. "He doesn't care about me." Having her son on the set of "Friends" was challenging — he was five when it wrapped. But as an adult, Stern has shown interest in returning to the set where he spent part of his childhood. In April 2022, he posted a bunch of photos on Instagram, including a picture of him standing in Central Perk (the cafe from "Friends") and in Monica Geller's kitchen. He gave no clues to his whereabouts on the post but wrote in the caption, "Hi. How are ya?"

He didn't want siblings

Lisa Kudrow only had one child, and the reason was that Julian Murray Stern didn't want siblings. The "Space Force" actor discussed being a mom of one in an interview on "Bethenny." "I feel bad. He alone will have to deal with his parents when they're old," Kudrow said with wit and humor about her decision not to have more children. Stern was also quick to remind his mom whenever a friend or relative made a pregnancy announcement that he had no desire for siblings.

"[He] made it clear from the moment he could speak that he didn't want a brother or sister. ... It just worked out that way anyway ― but to this day, he'll say, 'Thank you,'" Kudrow said (via Page Six) in 2017. Kudrow did not explain why this was the right decision for her family, but she appears to have a beautiful bond with her son, even though she has chosen to keep it out of the spotlight. In an interview with The Guardian in 2015, she explained why this was. "You think you're controlling the story. But when you put it out there, any individual can perceive it the way they want, and they've got the same forum you do," she said of her reluctance to share on social media. "Personal relationships, family, marriage, that stuff is meant to have very private parts, and it's worth protecting."

He has a dedicated and supportive mom

Lisa Kudrow's social media posts show who she is as a mother. In May 2020, she celebrated Julian Murray Stern's birthday on Instagram with a photo of him and the cake she had baked. Stern has also used social media to share their bond and made a sweet Instagram post for his mom on Mother's Day in 2019. He posted two photos of her. "I am very late to this, but nevertheless, happy Mother's Day, Mom! You are the most caring and supportive mother I could have asked for!" he wrote in the caption.

Kudrow is a dedicated parent, and finding a balance between her work and being a mom is something she's worked hard to achieve. "I think most people do not have a choice — both parents need to work — so for me, the guilt is I do not need to be working, but I do like it a lot," she told Glamour in 2014. "So I try to make it all as 9-to-5 as possible. I stopped doing out-of-town films years ago. You have to know your kid."

In a chat on the podcast "Literally! With Rob Lowe" in 2021, Kudrow spoke about these challenges again. "I did not like him experiencing me not as mommy. Because Phoebe was not his mother, Phoebe does not have children," she said of working on "Friends" when Stern was young.

His Bar Mitzvah has made headlines

Lisa Kudrow is Jewish. In an interview with The Saturday Evening Post in 2014, she was asked about her son's Bar Mitzvah (a coming-of-age ceremony). "My son sort of wanted a Bar Mitzvah, but it was a lot of work, and we didn't belong to a temple," Kudrow said. "But then he was at the mall, and two Hassidic Jews, I think they were Chabad-Lubavitch, they went up to him and asked, 'Are you Jewish? Did you have a Bar Mitzvah?'" Stern told them he was on his mother's side and was given an unconventional ceremony, which Kudrow said lasted "30 seconds." She later referred to it as "a drive-by Bar Mitzvah."

As for what it entailed? "They did a ritual, took a picture. He was all by himself, and he had his own Bar Mitzvah," she said. Kudrow spoke about her faith and her experience with anti-Semitism in the same chat. "In college, there was more anti-Semitism than before college because there were people who never met a Jew before," she said. She also had harsh experiences with friends no longer wanting to associate with her because of her beliefs.

He graduated from film school

Julian Murray Stern has joked about his time as a student after seeing that a Popeye's restaurant was hiring. He posted a photo of himself in front of the hiring advertisement. "Guys, film school isn't working out. I work at Popeyes now. Come visit me at the Popeyes," he captioned the Instagram post from 2019. But in 2021, he graduated, and Lisa Kudrow could not have been more proud.

The veteran actor celebrated Stern's graduation from the University of Southern California with a sweet post on Instagram. In the photo, Kudrow is standing next to Stern, who is wearing his graduation cap and gown. "Happy, proud, HAPPY. And a little crying. By me, not him @juls_magewls," she captioned the post. Before Stern's graduation, his mom had discussed the adjustments since he left home. "I think I'm handling it really well, and you know, like a mature adult, happy that our son is away ... and independent. It's hard," she told "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in 2018. "I think I did a good job injecting him with the right amount of fear. He's independent and good."

His mom was reluctant for him to follow in her footsteps

From a young age, Julian Murray Stern was interested in his mom's career — and was the only one who was, as the "The Comeback" actor told The Guardian in 2015 how she was "the only actor in the family. It's not that they look down on it. They think it was very brave becoming an actor, but it's not fascinating."

Kudrow understands the entertainment industry and is aware that there is a downside to the glitz and the glamor. So, if Julian had wanted to pursue acting at the time of her interview, she may have dissuaded him, as she felt he was too young. "Any kind of artist needs a little more life experience before that's all you're doing," she said. "You need a point of reference for the world you're living in. My fear is if [Julian] were to become successful, that'd be a disaster. When a very young person becomes too powerful, they become a valuable commodity that everyone's afraid to say no to." Luckily, he waited and did not have to contend with these challenges. 

He loves to travel and explore

Lisa Kudrow has traveled a lot and admitted it is one of her biggest expenses. "Traveling well. Wherever I have to go," she told Saturday Evening Post in 2014 in answer to the "extravagance" she spends her money on. "I'm not good on vacations. And I like facials." While it is not immediately clear if her son, Julian Murray Stern, shares his mom's love for luxury travel, he does appear to like to explore different parts of the world.

In 2019, Stern posted a bunch of photos on Instagram from his travels in France. "This summer's been great, but so far Corsica has topped it," he wrote in the caption. "As of right now, I give this trip one Big Ju with a thumbs up." He has also posted a picture on Instagram of himself admiring a statue of a Megatherium during a visit to La Brea Tar Pits and Museum in Los Angeles. Stern's Instagram page also includes heavily edited photos of him at the beach (which he acknowledged with the Instagram caption, "I think I need to stop with the aggressive filters") and a visit to an ornate temple.

Julian Murray Stern is a smart guy

Lisa Kudrow is proud of the young man she raised, evidenced by her interview comments about him. She has also complimented his intellect. "He's a big thinker, but he's impatient with the details because he wants to jump to the bigger stuff," she told The Saturday Evening Post in 2014. "In that way, he's intellectual. But that's a different skill set than organizing, outlining, and studying for a test. Maybe he'll be a philosophy major." Stern didn't pursue philosophy, but he is smart, because he even realizes when his mama knows best!

The veteran actor has tried to teach her son life lessons and impart her wisdom, although she admits this can sometimes become a one-sided chat. "I monologue at him," she told People in 2018. "He'll ask me one question, and then I take that opportunity to go into every area of, 'And now you can learn something about history!' ... More than any human being can possibly listen to." But her long chats are not pointless, as she discussed a scenario where Stern listened and took her guidance regarding the dangers of social media. "I gave [Julian] advice about the internet, and I [said], 'That stuff's there forever,'" Kudrow told People. "You're gonna look back at this stuff, and you're gonna go, 'Oh my God, I can do so much better than that now,' and you might be embarrassed."

He wrote a short animation

Julian Murray Stern has written and directed a short animation titled "The Voiceless Man." In 2023, he encouraged fans to help him bring the project to life by funding it through Seed & Spark. "A man with no voice lives a life of constant bullying for not having a mouth. In his darkest hour, the Voiceless Man meets a stranger who grants him a voice by drawing a mouth on his face," the project reads. "Finally obtaining a mouth, the Voiceless Man abuses his eloquence for hate and violence."

Stern has also promoted the project on Instagram. In a video from June 2023, he discussed the storyline and how it started with a drawing for a comic strip he created in high school. He also posted a link to his campaign page to encourage fans to learn more about the film and help him get the funding he needs. His mom, Lisa Kudrow, showed her support in the comments by posting a red heart emoji. Two weeks later, he updated fans on the progress with another video posted on Instagram. "Thank you again to everyone who has contributed, supported, and shared this project!" he wrote in the caption. "We're hoping to make something really special, and with your help, it can become a reality!"

According to the Seed & Spark page, the project has raised $15,005 for production and reached its funding goal.