Sometimes Hollywood draws inspiration from movies for new TV shows.
It’s hard to imagine that the legendary cast of Friends could have been any random permutation of 17 other actors and actresses vying for the role. I am sure none of us have any regrets about who would eventually play Chandler Bing, Rachel Green, Joey Tribbiani, Phoebe Buffay, Monica and Ross Gellar. NBC was sure the show was going to be a hit and auditioned over 1,000 actors but only six were quite right. These are the 17 other actors who came so close but didn’t quite make the cut or didn’t want the role.
1. Tea Leoni was the producer’s first choice but she turned down the role.
2. Elizabeth Berkeley auditioned for the part but didn’t get it.
3. Courtney Cox was originally asked to play Rachel but was more interested in playing Monica.
4. Lar Park-Lincoln turned down the role.
5. Janeane Garofalo turned the role when Phoebe was still going to be a “goth girl.”
6. Kathy Griffin auditioned.
7. Jane Lynch auditioned.
8. Ellen DeGeneres turned down the role.
9. Leah Remini auditioned for the part of Monica but didn’t get it.
10. Jami Gertz turned down the role.
11. Nancy McKeon auditioned for the part.
12. Jennifer Aniston first tried out for Monica.
13. Craig Bierko was first choice until Matthew Perry auditioned for the part.
14. Jon Cryer shot an audition tape while on Broadway in London but it didn’t make it in the mail in time to be considered.
15. Jon Favreau turned down the role of Chandler Bing.
16. Hank Azaria auditioned twice, after bombing the first audition he begged for another but even after a second chance it was no dice.
17. Erick McCormack auditioned three times for the role to no avail.