Why David Schwimmer Almost Turned Down the Role of Ross in 'Friends'

Ross actor from 'Friends,' David Schwimmer, almost turned down the role.
Ross actor from 'Friends,' David Schwimmer, almost turned down the role. / David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

As you can imagine, casting the main six players of Friends was no easy task. Finding just the right person for each role, like with any show, was crucial. And now that we know how popular the beloved series became, can you even imagine a different person playing Rachel Green or Phoebe Buffay? 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 were harder to pin down than others, David Schwimmer was the first actor showrunners approached, and apparently, they knew right away he was perfect for the role of Ross. Years before, he'd auditioned for another show, and Schwimmer was stuck in Crane's mind. However, the actor took a little convincing.

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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 theatre experience. He was back doing theatre and we had to persuade him to come back to television."

Thankfully, Schwimmer eventually agreed. No other actors could've played Ross and Rachel like Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston did, but as MSN notes, Aniston was the last cast member to join the show. This was because she was already working on another TV project at the time. Luckily for us fans, that show was cancelled. And the rest is one of the most famous on-again, off-again relationships in TV history!