Courteney Cox Reveals Why She Turned Down The Role Of Rachel Green

Courteney Cox as Monica and Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green in Friends

by Katie Rosseinsky |

After 23 years, ten seasons and countless repeats, it’s very hard to imagine the iconic Friends line-up any other way (which is probably why the recent revelation that Vince Vaughn very nearly took Matt LeBlanc’s role of Joey Tribbiani confused us on a deep, existential level). To paraphrase Chandler Bing, could they be any more perfect for their roles?

However, the casting of the Central Perk six wasn’t always set in stone, and at last year’s much-vaunted Friends ‘reunion’ (or, The One That Wasn’t Actually A Reunion, as we prefer to call it) Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston revealed that they were originally up for each other’s parts, with Courteney pencilled in as Rachel and Jennifer set to play Monica. However, both the actresses and the producers soon noted that a character swap was required, and the rest was sitcom history.

Looking back at that time on the Off Camera With Sam Jones podcast, Courteney has now revealed why she decided that Monica, not Rachel, was the part for her.

Courteney Cox as Monica and Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green in Friends
Courteney Cox as Monica and Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green in Friends ©Getty Images

‘For some reason, I thought I related more to Monica, which maybe is because I do,’ she said, before highlighting the ways in which she is similar to her most famous on-screen alter ego.

‘I’m very similar to her… I’m not as clean as Monica, but I am neat,’ she explained. ‘And I’m not as competitive, even though some people, my partner Johnny McDaid, would say I am.’

Discussing the secret to Friends’ enduring success, Courteney praised the unique alchemy of the behind-the-scenes team and the cast, telling her host ‘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. People responded to it. It felt right [] It was just a great group of people that were put together that were there for the right reason.’

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