‘Friends’: Chris Rock Almost Got a Role, Says ‘I Would Have Been the Black Friend’

Years after Friends ended we are still learning about actors who auditioned for roles or were considered for them. Chris Rock revealed he was one of those people and talked about how he would have stood out in the cast.

The cast has talked openly about the lack of diversity on ‘Friends’

Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow on 'Friends'
Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow on ‘Friends’ | Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

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Friends is still a hit after all these years. But one thing that doesn’t age well about the show is the lack of diversity. The cast has talked about this and some are all for it being rebooted with a new cast.

“I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color,” David Schwimmer, who played Ross Geller, told The Guardian. “One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian-American woman, and later I dated African-American women.”

He also gave a reason why the show didn’t do better than that. “You have to look at it from the point of view of what the show was trying to do at the time,” Schwimmer said. “I’m the first person to say that maybe something was inappropriate or insensitive, but I feel like my barometer was pretty good at that time.”

He then suggested, “Maybe there should be an all-Black Friends or an all-Asian Friends.” Many people were quick to point out that Living Single already existed before Friends and it has a very similar premise. But it turns out the original cast of Friends almost got a Black cast member.

Chris Rock almost got a role

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The comedian was being considered for multiple sitcoms at the time. This is probably because he was on Saturday Night Live from 1990 to 1993. He was then considered to be on other NBC shows.

Rock was on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. He was asked if he was considered to play George Costanza (Jason Alexander) on Seinfeld.

“I just heard that one. I mean, it was a lot of NBC talk,” he said. “There was talk about Seinfeld. There was talk about me being one of the Friends at one point. Yes, I would have been the Black friend. That’s basically who I am to America anyway at this point.”

He added, “Let’s just say the good people at Seinfeld, they made the right choice. He’s good. He’s amazing.”

There is a long list of people who also didn’t get on the show

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Rock is hardly the only well known celebrity to not get on the show. Jami Gertz was called in to play Rachel Green because Jennifer Aniston wasn’t available at the time. But then Gertz turned it down and Aniston was able to do it.

In the end, the cast of Friends will forever be iconic. But the conversation around the casting of the show might have been different if it went with Rock.