Casting the six main players of Friends was no easy task. Finding just the right person for each role, like with any show, was crucial. And now that the beloved series has become a television mainstay, it's hard to imagine a different person playing Rachel Green or Phoebe Buffay. But how about Ross Geller?
As reported by MSN, Friends co-creator David Crane once explained just how difficult it was to find the iconic cast. While some characters were harder to pin down than others, David Schwimmer was the first actor that showrunners approached for Ross, and they knew right away he was perfect for the role. Years before, he'd auditioned for another show, and Schwimmer stuck in Crane's mind. The actor, however, took a little convincing.
Crane recalled during an appearance on The One Show in 2019:
"He didn't get that part, but as we were writing Friends and we came up with the idea of Ross, we kept thinking, 'You know who'd be great for this is David Schwimmer.' And then he didn't want to do it because he had theater experience. He was back doing theater, and we had to persuade him to come back to television."
Schwimmer eventually agreed. No other actors could have played Ross and Rachel like Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston did, but as MSN notes, Aniston was the final cast member to join because she was already working on another TV project at the time. Luckily for Friends fans, that show was canceled—and the rest is one of the most famous on-again, off-again relationships in TV history.