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TV

Wait, what?! Jennifer Aniston almost didn't play Rachel in Friends!

This is truly shocking.

By Rebecca Sullivan
Can you believe it's been 25 years since Friends first premiered on our screens?
To mark the special occasion, a brand new book called Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era is being released next month, and it's packed full of juicy new anecdotes about the very different form the show could have taken.
Did you know that Jennifer Aniston almost didn't play the now iconic role of Rachel?
We can't even imagine the show without Jen, so this news is completely shocking to us!
Apparently the show's writers really wanted to cast Jen in the role, but they were almost unable to due to a clash with another project she was involved with.
The then relatively unknown actress had filmed several episodes of another show called Muddling Through, for rival network CBS.
If Muddling Through went ahead, Friends wouldn't be able to have Jen in their show, because they would lose her halfway through the first season.
Thank goodness that didn't end up happening, so Jen was free to play the role that would end up defining her career - and fans around the world were able to mimic her hair-dos each season.
Who can imagine Friends without Jen Aniston?! Supplied
Other new details from the book include the revelation that the show was actually going to be called Friends Like Us, plus, apparently the character of Joey was meant to be "less dim-witted" than he turned out to be.
And there was even a sixth character called Pat the Cop, an older police officer.
But the writers ended up hating how the character turned out, so they pleaded with the network NBC to drop the role.
"The one major suggestion the network has was the addition of an older secondary character," the book's author Saul Austerlitz wrote.
"The writers made a good-faith attempt, even casting the role, but hated the resulting script so much that they pleaded with NBC to drop the idea," the book reveals.
"NBC gave its permission and Pat the Cop was no longer."
WATCH BELOW: Jennifer Aniston gives fans a sneak peek into her home. Story continues after video.
And can you believe that Courteney Cox almost missed out on the role of Monica?
The show's creators initially wanted the character of Monica to have a much harder edge and wanted her to be "tough, defended, cynical, sarcastic", with "the attitude of Sandra Bernhard or Rosie O'Donnell and the looks of Duff," referring to American MTV VJ and model Karen Duffy
In fact, Reality Bites star Janeane Garofalo was actually offered the role Monica, but thankfully the idea for the character eventually changed and Courteney Cox won it in the end.
The new book, Generation Friends by Saul Austerlitz, will be released on September 17.

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