Friends' Rachel Was Almost Played by This 90s Teen Icon
06/05/2023

Friends was one of the most iconic shows of the 90s. Ever since it first appeared in 1994, it captured the world's attention, with fans becoming obsessed with the characters and stars.

It launched booming careers for the six main actors, with Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Green, becoming a household name overnight. 90s girls wanted to be Rachel. Her clothes, her lifestyle, and of course, her trademark hairstyle which came to be famously known as "The Rachel."

Post-Friends, Aniston went on to enjoy a hugely successful film career, finding her niche in the romantic comedy genre and continuing to warm audience's hearts with her adorable, sexy yet classy, and often quirky characters who always felt "a little bit Rachel."

More than just typecasting, Aniston was such an ideal fit for the role of Rachel Green that fans have long commented it felt like the part was written specifically for her. While that was, of course, not the case, it is likely that had Aniston not landed her role in Friends, the world would have seen a lot less of her.

Which is why the thought of anyone else playing the role seems unthinkable. But it almost happened…

The cast of Friends were not the only icons of the 90s. In fact, it could be said they arrived at that party late. Because before fans enjoyed hanging out with Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey, they enjoyed the antics of a different group of friends.

Saved by the Bell first aired in 1989 and was an instant hit with teens and young adults. As Friends would later do for its cast, Saved by the Bell, launched several careers. One of the most promising young future stars fans saw was Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, who played the sweet girl next door, Kelly Kapowski.

Kelly was almost a "young Rachel" in many ways. Both beautiful, popular, slightly vain, but endlessly adorable, they seemed cut from the same cloth. And Thiessen almost played Rachel!

The actress recently appeared on SiriusXM's "You Up With Nikki Glaser" and revealed that she auditioned for the much-desired role and was almost successful.

She cited her age as being the reason she was passed over for Aniston:

"I was just a little too young. I was a little too young to the pairing of the rest of them."

With a five-year age difference between Thiessen and Aniston, it definitely makes sense that age was a factor in the casting choices. But fans cannot help enjoying imagining how the show would have turned out had Thiessen played Rachel.

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