It may be difficult for fans to imagine anyone else playing the parts of their favorite characters, but when casting, directors are first trying to match the role with the perfect actor, they have a clean slate to work with. There may be specific aspects they’re looking for – from physical traits to personality traits to that certain something – but they don’t have the ingrained image in their minds that audiences have after a decade’s worth of laughs. But before Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer and the rest of the now iconic cast, there were plenty of other actors up for the prime parts. Check out these 12 stars who auditioned for – or were offered and turned down roles on – Friends. In the end, do you think the right choices were made or can you imagine any of these stars as one of the gang?
12. Ellen DeGeneres – Phoebe
Lisa Kudrow played Phoebe Buffay to perfection. The lovable quirky character kept the laughs coming throughout the years and managed to touch the hearts of fans on more than just a few occasions. It’s almost impossible to imagine anyone else trying to tackle the role, but what about Ellen DeGeneres? That’s right, Ellen, who has gone on to host her own super successful talk show, was in fact the producer’s first choice to play Phoebe, but DeGeneres ended up turning the role down. There’s no doubt that Ellen would have brought the quirky humor to the part, but would she have been able to capture the true Phoebe-esque essence? Not so sure about that.