David Schwimmer originally turned down Friends

Friends co-creator David Crane has revealed how he had to persuade David Schwimmer to star in Friends after he initially turned the role down.

The 53-year-old actor originally passed up the offer of playing the iconic Ross Geller, but the sitcom’s producers were desperate to cast him and used their magic to get him to change his mind.

Spilling all the details on The One Show, David admitted that Schwimmer was the first out of the six main characters to land their role.

‘He had come in and auditioned for us for a pilot the year before and the show didn’t go and he didn’t get the part,’ he began.

‘But as we were writing Friends and we came up with the idea of Ross, we kept thinking David Schwimmer would be great for this.

‘He didn’t want to do it because he was back doing theatre and we had to persuade him to come back to television.’

David then confessed that Jennifer Aniston was the last star to be cast in Friends because she was doing another series.

‘She [Jennifer] was the only one who could get it right,’ David said. ‘We saw so many girls in wedding dresses come in and she nailed it and so we rolled the dice and that the other show would fail.’

A number of huge A-lister celebrities made cameo appearances over the 10 years that Friends was on the air, including the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Brad Pitt.

‘We would write the roles first, we would never go after people,’ David revealed.

‘And then the casting people would say, “Oh Julia Roberts wants to do it,” and we’d be like, “Okay, that sounds good, let’s do that.”‘

The One Show returns on Friday at 7pm on BBC One and Friends is available to stream on Netflix. 

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