'Friends: The Reunion': 'Unlikeable' Rachel Green was the hardest to cast, creators reveal
David Crane and Marta Kauffman said they cast Jennifer Aniston at the very last as they were looking for someone to fit in with David Schwimmer's Ross
Fans of 'Friends' rejoiced on Thursday, May 27, when the entire cast of the show met for 'Friends: The Reunion'. Not just the six friends but also the makers and the side actors of the legendary show also joined the grand reunion. The makers revealed details about the casting and characteristics of each character, calling the character of Rachel Green as the 'unlikeable' one.
The creators, David Crane and Marta Kauffman, revealed that they cast Rachel's character, played by Jennifer Aniston, at the very last as they were looking for someone to just fit in with David Schwimmer's character Ross, which was cast first. Crane also revealed that Rachel's character would have turned into a really "unlikable" one.
Crane also said that before they cast Aniston for the role, they auditioned many women, and most of them auditioned while donning a wedding gown, because of the iconic first episode where Rachel walks in through the doors of Central Perk, where the five friends - Chandler, Monica, Phoebe, Joey and Ross, were having coffee.
But the most shocking revelation about the character was that when the makers finally found their Rachel in Aniston, she was already cast in CBS's unaired sitcom 'Mudding Through' and had even shot a few episodes of that show.
If the series had been picked up, Aniston would have had to leave 'Friends' halfway through the first season.
Accoridng to a report by The Sun, NBC executives were so convinced that they wanted Aniston and no one else that they pulled off a sneaky move to make the actress’s decision easier. During the summer that 'Muddling Through' premiered on CBS, they intentionally scheduled blockbuster TV movies at the same time new episodes aired, essentially killing the comedy before it could launch. As a result, 'Muddling Through' was killed and, Aniston finally bagged the Friends gig and the rest, as they say, is TV history.
Author Saul Austerlitz who wrote 'Generation Friends' first made this revelation. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the book:“‘Muddling Through’ had already shot a half-dozen episodes, none of which had aired, and CBS, after some dithering, ultimately chose to put the show on its summer schedule, in the relative dead zone of Saturday nights. Hearing the news, [Warren] Littlefield turned to [Preston] Beckman, NBC’s scheduling guru, with a two-word order: ‘Kill it.’"
According to the book, Beckman returned with a crafty suggestion for eliminating ‘Muddling Through”s prospects.
"Beckman was sitting on a trove of unreleased original TV films adapted from Danielle Steel novels. They were practically guaranteed to attract a substantial, and substantially female, audience. If they were to be scheduled opposite ‘Muddling Through’? Well, no show about an ex-con motel manager and her daffy family was likely to provide stiff competition for Steel’s glamorous romances. Beckman would schedule the Steel movies for the first few Saturday nights Muddling Through was on the air, with repeats scheduled for the weeks that followed. It was a necessary sacrifice, giving up some of the ratings the movies might have garnered on another, more attractive, night in exchange for eliminating a rival to potential future Thursday-night success.”