Over the 10 years that Friends was on the air, the sitcom saw a number of amazing guest stars, eve including the partners and spouses of the core cast. One of the most memorable of these episodes was when Brad Pitt, who was married to Rachel Green actress Jennifer Aniston at the time, guest starred as Will Colbert in episode nine of season 8, “The One With The Rumor.”
Will was an old high school friend of siblings Ross and Monica Geller (played by David Schwimmer and Courteney Cox, respectively), who helped Ross form the “I Hate Rachel” fan club back in the day.
Though the now-iconic episode went flawlessly, with Pitt’s character, a former overweight geek from their Long Island High School seething with hate over the Rachel’s popular, cheerleader past, HollywoodLife reported that Pitt had reservations when he was initially approached for the role.
Brad Pitt almost turned down Friends role
Pitt’s hesitation wasn’t because he was married to Aniston, nor was it the fact that Friends was already a majorly popular show with a dedicated fan-base who might not like his character. Instead, it was because of the live studio audience!
The show’s co-creator, David Crane, told HollywoodLife at the AT&T 5G Friends Fan Experience in 2019 that Pitt almost didn’t take the part, “Only because he’d never done TV in front of an audience, and it’s a very specific skill set. I think it’s probably a little intimidating if you haven’t done it before.”
Unlike many actors, Pitt did not get his start with acting on the stage, going straight to movies instead of trying his hand at live performances.
Crane also admitted that the Ad Astra star was one of the only actors they really wanted for the part. He explained, “Obviously, it was up to him, and it was up to [Jennifer], and it was just a great piece of casting. When he said yes, we were thrilled.”
It definitely all worked out in the end. Now the episode is a fan-favorite, and Pitt even got nominated for an Emmy for his performance!
This article originally appeared on Floor8 and is written by Jessica Bowman.