A milestone for television behavioral comedies (known as sitcoms), the Friends series has defined a generation and continues to gain new fans even nearly 20 years after its closure. It is no exaggeration to say that the program created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman has become a cultural phenomenon, transcending territorial barriers and conquering the world – this in an era before what we know today with the globalization of ‘Internet. When Friends first aired in 1994, pay TV (cable or aerial) was still in its infancy in Brazil, for example. Thus, its media escalation is even more impressive.
The idea of having six single friends, three men and three women, in their early twenties living in New York City and sharing apartments, facing financial, relationship and work challenges was a modern proposition, but very real for the company. ‘era. Unlike other shows dealing with such a subject (like Seinfeld, which premiered in 1989 with low ratings – in danger of being canceled before showing its true potential), Friends had a more pop and bolder and aimed directly at different age groups, children, adolescents and young adults. It was the secret to the formula for success that continues to generate fans today. Interestingly, the original title wasn’t even Friends and the pilot was recorded as Insomnia Cafe (Insomnia Cafe) and Six of One (Six of One), can you think of that?
On the air for 10 seasons until 2004, HBO Max recently brought a gift to fans in its collection (which includes all Warner properties, whether in theaters or on television): the long-awaited gathering of friends in front of the screens. Friends: The Reunion brings together for the first time since the close of the series Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer to, with very special guests, take a trip down memory lane, relive some of the more memorable moments. Special program. With that in mind, we decided to put the focus once again on this beloved comedy, bringing a different story. Here, we’re going to meet the actors who almost lived out Rachel, Ross, Joey, Monica, Chandler, and Phoebe in place of the performers we love so much in the role. It would certainly be a very different series. Check it out below and don’t forget to comment.
Jennifer Aniston was the most prominent actress in the Six-Star cast. The actress immediately hit the movies and became one of Hollywood’s darling for romantic comedies. Aniston was not the first choice for the role of Rachel, however. It was her co-star Courteney Cox who received the initial proposal for the character, deciding to stick with the role of Monica instead. The creators therefore turned to Téa Leoni (Jurassic Park III), who turned down the role, preferring to become the solo protagonist of her own comedy series, The Naked Truth (1995-1998). Leoni would return to television in 2014 in CBS’s Madam Secretary, which ran until 2019. de Bruit (1989–1992). Eventually, Aniston was preferred, and Berkley went on to star in the controversial Showgirls (1995).
As noted, prior to perpetuating the “maniac” with cleaning up OCD and organizing Monica, actress Courteney Cox was offered the character of Rachel. On the other hand, creator David Crane has stated that he created Monica specifically with actress Janeane Garofalo, queen of independent romantic dramas of the 90s. Starred in The Reality (1995), Stiller’s film, starring Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke, who was popular with alternative youth at the time. Another actress who almost landed the role before Cox was Jamie Gertz, known for several films that marked the 1980s, such as the vampire classic The Lost Boys (1987). After losing the role, Gertz went on to star in Steven Spielberg’s tornado chaser film Twister (1996).
The role of mad hippie soul Phoebe was immortalized by the performance of blonde girl Lisa Kudrow. Before falling into her hands, however, the character was considered the most contested in the series, generating hundreds of actress auditions over the period. Some of the most famous were the redhead actress Kathy Griffin and the tall Jane Lynch, who would become known for her role as Professor Sue in the Glee series (2009-2015). Yet among the candidates to live the singer of the song “Smelly Cat” in the series, the one that stands out the most is the presenter Ellen DeGeneres. Today’s TV sensation, before having her own talk show with an auditorium, Ellen was known as a comedian and actress. Not getting the role of Phoebe in Friends ended up being good for DeGeneres, as in the same year he would earn his own series to star (titled Ellen), where in the early ’90s he was able to revolutionize by embracing his sexual option. both inside and outside the screens.
A favorite of many fans, Joey is stupid as a door, but he has the biggest heart of the bunch. Womanizer and glutton, the descendant of the Italians initially wanted to be a bit of a scoundrel and asshole character. Once hired, Matt LeBlanc asked the writers why other friends would be his friends with these questionable traits? The character has therefore acquired qualities, let’s say, more convivial. Before LeBlanc, Hank Azaria auditioned for the role and said he was the only one who had to test more than once. Azaria is said to be known for voicing several characters from The Simpsons animated series and would appear in Friends as David in five episodes. Another notorious actor who almost landed the role of Joey was Vince Vaughn, who, although he did not get the role, became a real movie star in the comedy genre. Can you imagine what the big guy as Joey would be saying “How are you doing?” However, casting officials say no one has tested the character better than LeBlanc.
Chandler is the prankster of the group and, in his own words, uses humor as self-defense. It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Matthew Perry in the role. But the filmmakers’ first choice was for the only actor at the time, Jon Favreau. Today, an established director and producer responsible for the success of Disney, see The Mandalorian, in addition to, of course, laying the foundations for the Marvel Universe in theaters with the first two Iron Man. By the mid-1990s, however, Favreau had other plans for his career and turned down the role of Chandler on the series. Soon after, he would rise to prominence for the screenplay and the lead role of Swingers – Curtindo a Noite, the first play on the road to stardom. Interestingly, Favreau would appear in some episodes of Friends as Pete Becker (in 1997), Monica’s millionaire boyfriend. Jon Cryer is another who auditioned for Chandler and seems to have more to do with the character. The actor didn’t get the role, but ten years later he would score with his own hit series Two and a Half Men (2003-2015).
Unlike the rest of the cast, David Schwimmer didn’t have a lot of competition for the role of Dr. Ross Geller and was first hired to be one of the show’s protagonists. But despite Schwimmer’s favoritism, other actors even auditioned for the role, among which the most notorious was Eric McCormack – who would later become Will, the revolutionary’s gay lawyer and portraying Will & Grace (who is back for new seasons these days, following its debut in the late ’90s). Ross Geller is the group’s nerd, doctor of paleontology, he has the security of a job at the New York Museum, which he keeps throughout his career. When it comes to personal relationships, Ross isn’t that good. With a defeatist attitude, the character was known at the start of the program to wear a “black cloud” above his head. Interestingly, Schwimmer would later participate in the Will & Grace revival, acting alongside McCormack (who almost lived out Ross).
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