It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Jennifer Aniston playing Rachel on Friends, but apparently fans came very close to having an entirely different ’90s icon arguing on-screen with Ross over whether they were “on a break.”
In a new interview on Nikki Glaser’s podcast, You Up, Saved by the Bell star Tiffani Thiessen, a.k.a. Kelly Kapowski, revealed that she had auditioned for the role of Rachel. “Do you know I tested for Friends for Jennifer Aniston? I did,” she said.
Sadly, Thiessen wasn’t the right fit, she said, because she wasn’t quite as old as the rest of the cast members. “I was just a little too young,” she continued. “A little too young to the pairing of the rest of them.”
“That makes sense to me, because you are both such amazing comedic actresses,” Glaser told Thiesen, and the Saved by the Bell star agrees that Jennifer Aniston is “very, very funny.”
Thiessen isn’t the only star who almost replaced one of the core six in their spots on the Central Perk couches. 30 Rock‘s Jane Krakowski also auditioned for the part of Rachel, and Will and Grace‘s Eric McCormack tried out for Ross. Vince Vaughn tried out for Joey, Jon Cryer for Chandler, Leah Remini for Monica, and Kathy Griffin for Phoebe. Let’s just say Friends could easily have been a completely different show.
Though she didn’t wind up living in the iconic purple-walled apartment alongside Monica and the rest of the gang, Thiessen is now starring in a new sitcom on Netflix called Alexa & Katie, out now. All’s well that ends well.