Rachel Green is an iconic character but she could have been portrayed very differently.
Speaking with news.com.au, actress Jane Sibbett, who played Ross’ ex-wife Carol on the classic sitcom “Friends”, revealed that she almost got the lead role over Jennifer Aniston.
“I actually was up for another character. They wanted me to be one of the main six,” she said. “It was actually Rachel but I usually don’t tell people that because Jen … There’s no one who could’ve done it like Jen.”
Unfortunately for Sibbett, the role didn’t go her way due to the fact that she was pregnant at the time.
“I asked [the agents] if they’d told the producers I was pregnant and they said, ‘Oh no, we thought we’d tell them later.’ And I said, ‘No, you’ve got to tell them now,'” she recalled. “So obviously they said it wouldn’t work out.”
Sibbett added, “I have no regrets, my goodness, there’s no way anybody could have come close to what Jennifer Aniston did with Rachel. She was so perfect.”
Things worked out in the end though, as the actress who originally played Carol in the pilot episode quit the show.
“So I got home from hospital after giving birth to my son and I got a phone call saying that they were replacing Carol and could I come to work the next day,” Sibbett said. “Two days after I delivered my son he and I were on the set. I was in a milky haze. But it was funny. It was only supposed to be a two-week job so I’m very grateful.”
In the show, Carol realized she was lesbian and left Ross, but not before becoming pregnant with their child. In a controversial 1996 episode, Carol got married to her partner Susan, played by Jessica Hecht.
“I actually had a woman from my old church confront me and say, ‘How dare you? You’re going to burn in hell,’” the actress said, recalling the backlash to the episode. “But personally, my own father had a hard time with it. I come from a very conservative Christian background. My own dad had bible study at 8 o’clock when ‘Friends’ was on in America because he wasn’t comfortable with it.
“But finally after a few years, people were sending him articles about how beautiful these characters were handling such a delicate subject and he began to understand.”