Friends creators had to ‘beg’ David Schwimmer to play Ross

The One Where He Nearly Missed The Role of a Lifetime.

Ross explains Unagi

It’s difficult to imagine anyone playing Ross Gellar other than David Schwimmer.

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But the creators of Friends, Martha Kaufmann and David Crane have revealed that Schwimmer was very reluctant to play the frequently divorced palaeontologist in the iconic sitcom.

Speaking on hotly anticipated comeback show, Friends: The Reunion, which airs on Sky One tomorrow, they say they had to ‘beg’ him to play Ross, after they wrote the character with him in mind.

‘We had seen David for another role in a different show, and remembered him, so when we started creating Friends Ross was in our minds,’ explains Kaufmann. ‘But we had to send him gift baskets [to convince him]!’

Explaining Schwimmer’s hesitance, Crane says that the actor had been stung by an unhappy time on another TV programme and had intended to boycott television completely.

‘He had quit TV,’ says Crane. ‘He’d had a miserable experience on another show so he moved back to Chicago to just do theatre. We had to beg him and beseech him and say we wrote the part for him! We assured him this was going to be different from his other experience.’

Luckily for the writers, and for us as fans, Schwimmer changed his mind and agreed to do the show. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The writers also reveal that Schwimmer was the first actor to sign on the dotted line and that Jennifer Aniston was the last, after a struggle to find the right actress to play Rachel.

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Friends: The Reunion will be available to watch on NOW from 8am tomorrow morning, and will air on Sky One at 8pm. To find out what else is on, check out our TV Guide.