Courteney Cox Recalls Turning Down Rachel Role on ‘Friends’

The one where Courteney Cox almost played Rachel. Friends alum Cox, 52, has admitted in the past that she originally read for Jennifer Aniston’s role on the iconic NBC comedy. But on the March 28 installment of the Off Camera With Sam Jones podcast, the actress revealed why she felt more connected to perfectionist neat freak chef Monica.

“For some reason, I thought I related more to Monica,” the mom of 12-year-old Coco explained to photographer/director Jones, “which, maybe, it’s because I do.”

Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller and Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green on Friends.
Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller and Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green on Friends. Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The Cougar Town alum copped to sharing Monica’s love of order. “I’m not as clean as Monica, but I am neat,” she said. She also noted that some, including musician boyfriend Johnny McDaid, believe she and her character had similar competitive streaks.

Cox added the casting of her and costars Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer led to the show’s successful 10-season run.

“That was lightning in a bottle,” she gushed of the comic hit, “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.”

NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller on Friends. NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

And Cox realized early on she had found her big break. “I know during the pilot I could tell it just worked,” she recalled to Jones. “People responded to it. It felt right. I mean everybody was just, we got along, it just was a great group of people that were put together that were there for the right reason.”

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