Sexy actress Aisha Tyler is grateful her parents' staunch vegetarianism alienated her from other children, because she found her talent for comedy deflecting her classmates jibes at her healthy packed lunches.

The 24 star, who appeared in Friends as ROSS' girlfriend CHARLIE, indulged in her own form of teenage rebellion by secretly eating meat while her peers experimented with cigarettes and alcohol.

Tyler, 34, says, "My parents were vegetarians and I went to school with sandwiches with tofu and greens. None of the other kids wanted to trade lunches with me.

"It forced me to be funny and make friends. I had to assimilate with the other youngsters, even though I felt like an outsider. When other kids rebelled by smoking and drinking, I was going out and sneaking meat on the side."

15/03/2005 14:09