Jane Krakowski Auditioned To Play Rachel On 'Friends'

The "30 Rock" star would have been VERY different from Jennifer Aniston.

Rachel Green and Jenna Maroney: Two indelible roles on two of the sitcoms ("Friends" and "30 Rock," duh) we inevitably find ourselves rewatching on Netflix multiple times a week. It's hard to imagine anyone else playing either part. But what if one actress had played both? 

There was briefly a chance that would have happened. Jane Krakowski -- who, of course, played Jenna -- revealed at the Emmys that she had auditioned for the role of Rachel on "Friends." 

 "I, like almost every actor in the world, auditioned for 'Friends,'" Krakowski told Giuliana Rancic of E!. "I wish I had gotten that one. I actually auditioned for Rachel and didn't go very far."

As inevitable as Jennifer Aniston's casting seems now -- she won an Emmy for the part in 2003, for instance -- it was hardly a foregone conclusion back in 1994. She was just 25 years old at the time, and had taken on just a few small roles. So the "Friends" producers considered a number of other actresses -- including not just Krakowski, but Tea Leoni and Elizabeth Berkley -- before settling on her. 

One thing seems certain: Krakowski's version of Rachel would have been far different from Aniston's, at least judging by Krakowski's Emmy-nominated performances on "30 Rock" and "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Her self-mocking campiness is at the opposite end of the dramatic spectrum from the sly, winning naturalism that Aniston showcased in "Friends."

Then again, if the creators of "Friends" had cast Krakowski rather than Aniston, who's to say the rest of the cast would have stayed the same? Ellen DeGeneres was allegedly the first actress offered the role of Phoebe Buffay -- maybe she and Krakowski would have been amazing foils for one another? Alas, we'll never know. 

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