Why Courteney Cox Turned Down The Part Of Rachel Green On Friends

It’s an established fact that Cox auditioned for the role Jennifer Aniston eventually landed.

Friends co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox.
Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox Friends forever Image Getty

Though it might seem hard to contemplate now, Courteney Cox actually came very close to playing Rachel rather than Monica on Friends.

Originally producers had Cox in mind for the part that made Aniston a household name and cultural touchstone on the show – her hairstyle at the time became known as “the Rachel”.

Cox even auditioned for the part before the show runners eventually saw the light and settled on the now-legendary line-up.

What many fans probably don’t realise though is that much of that decision came down to the fact that Cox actually felt she had more in common with Monica than Rachael.

Speaking to Off Camera With Sam Jones, Cox explained:

“I’m very similar to her… I’m not as clean as Monica, but I am neat. And I’m not as competitive, even though some people, my partner (musician) Johnny McDaid, would say I am.”

Cox also makes no bones about the fact that these casting decisions were crucial to the success of the show:

“That was lightning in a bottle, to have those writers, those creators of the show and the team they put together, and the actors. It just worked. I mean, the casting was perfect. It really was.”

At the time, Cox could not have known how important that decision would be.

Friends Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow Image NBC

“They wanted Courteney to play Rachel,” Aniston previously recalled in interview.

“And unbeknownst to each other, I wanted to play Rachel and she wanted to play Monica. It worked out perfectly.”

And work out it did, with Lisa Kudrow also joining the cast as Phoebe after losing a big part following the pilot for another sitcom.

The show in question? Frasier. Kudrow was originally cast as Roz.

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