Hollywood stars including Lisa Kudrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and Brooke Shields have delved into their backgrounds to uncover long-lost family secrets on a new NBC show, Who Do You Think You Are?.
Former Friends actress Lisa was surprised to learn about a branch of her family who hailed from Belarus, including a cousin who survived the Holocaust, reports the New York Daily News.
“My father had done a lot of genealogy work on my family — he has a 46-page family tree — but when we went into production, [our researchers] decided that I had a good story to tell and that there were some things that my father didn’t know about and that I didn’t know about,” Lisa says. “That’s the key, that the subject can learn.”
She traveled to the Eastern European country of Belarus to learn more about her cousin’s story. The trip wasn’t easy, says Lisa, but she hopes that her journey, along with those of the other participants, inspires viewers.
“It’s the being there and walking the same path that these people walked to their deaths that doesn’t allow you to keep it at an emotional distance,” she says.
“It’s not just something that happened to strangers a while ago anymore,” Lisa says.
Other participants on the show, which premieres on March 5 at 8 p.m., include Matthew Broderick, Spike Lee, Susan Sarandon and Emmitt Smith.