This Is What the 'Friends' Cast Could Have Looked Like
Not that it really matters. It's all a "moo point."
Could the producers BE any more lucky that Phoebe, Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Monica, and Joey were played by such an amazing group of actors?
It's hard to imagine a world where "Smelly Cat," "PIVOT!" and "How you doin'?" were said by anyone other than Kudrow, Schwimmer, and LeBlanc, but when Friends was merely a script with a working title (Insomnia Cafe, at one point. #barf), its executive team had a few other stars in mind.
Check out the alternatives below and be sure to hit up the comment section with your thoughts.
Ellen DeGeneres - Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow)
After a decent run on her own hit sitcom, funny lady Ellen DeGeneres reportedly turned down the role of Phoebe after it was offered to her. Perhaps she wanted to focus on dancing instead of singing, since Phoebe so obviously excelled at the latter.
Jon Cryer - Chandler (Matthew Perry)
Jon Cryer was asked to audition, but he was busy doing a play in London. Casting agents faxed (LOL, '90s) him over a copy of the script and he sent back a tape of his performance as Chandler. Apparently it didn't make it to the U.S. in time and he was no longer considered. We're sure he's not too (and a half) unhappy after all of his later successes.
Tea Leoni - Rachel (Jennifer Aniston)
Tea Leoni was straight up offered the role of Rachel, but passed on the project. Rumor has it that she wanted a lead character and to not be part of an ensemble cast. Sure, The Naked Truth was fine during its run, but three seasons obviously pales in comparison to ten. Just sayin'.
Eric McCormack - Ross (David Scwhimmer)
NBC darling Eric McCormack auditioned two or three times for the role of Ross to come off as a lighter and funnier performer, but execs later revealed that the role was essentially written for Schwimmer. McCormack would then go on to star in Will & Grace, which won him an Emmy and a coveted spot in the peacock's Thursday night lineup.
Leah Remini - Monica (Courteney Cox)
The Queen of Hearts comedienne lost the role to Cox, but came back after a few seasons to guest star on the hit series as a basketball-loving woman giving birth in the same hospital as Susan. Go Knicks!
Hank Azaria - Joey (Matt LeBlanc)
Hank Azaria wanted the part of Joey so bad that he demanded a second audition. Producers said "no thank you" again and the character was revised to be more clueless and, well, Italian. LeBlanc fit the bill perfectly and got the part almost immediately. No hard feelings for Azaria, though. He portrayed a scientist and one of Phoebe's crushes, David, in a few episodes.