How Rachel from Friends Was Nearly Portrayed by a Different Actress

Friends are, love it or hate it, a legendary TV show. While some find it facile and unrealistic, others enjoy the characters and the overall plot lines. However, one thing to note is that while most of the actors and actresses involved became major household names, some were nearly played by different people entirely!

The most obvious example of this would be Rachel Green. As the love interest of Ross and one of the main characters, Rachel is essential to making Friends what it is. Jennifer Aniston played the part with distinction and in doing so made herself a household name across the industry. However, did you know that Rachel was nearly played by someone else?

The show was almost entirely different, as a big part of the experience was the on-screen chemistry between Ross and Rachel. They were essential to the show's success, even if later retroactive looks at the show provide a different view of that particular relationship. Given the show's main premise was to do with the two of them finally getting together, it is intriguing to know that Rachel could have been played by another actress.

Would it have changed the show? Would the chemistry between the cast and Aniston have been as well reflected if someone else was involved? It is hard to say. 

Who nearly played Rachel Green in Friends?

A few names were looked at as potential other castings for Rachel. The main name that has been suggested was Tea Leoni, who reportedly turned down the role and instead took part in some other shows like The Naked Truth.

Another name closely linked with the role was that of Tiffani Thiessen. Having found success in Saved By The Bell, she was seen as a great alternative option but given her youthfulness, at the time she would not have been the ideal age to blend in with the rest of the cast.

The most interesting name, though, is Courtney Cox. Given she played Monica, Rachels’s best friend and another protagonist of the show, that would have been quite the role reversal. Given how well Cox played Monica, it is hard to imagine her playing the utterly contrasting Rachel quite as well.

So, now that we know that Rachel was nearly played by someone else, does it change how you feel about the character?