Hank Azaria was so desperate to land the role of Joey Tribbiani on Friends, he auditioned twice for the part.
The Simpsons star reveals he was one of the many people who read for the part when producers were first putting together the hit sitcom, but he failed to impress casting directors and was quickly shown the door – on both occasions.
“I auditioned for Joey, and didn’t get it, and I was like, ‘No, no, I have to go back, I have to try again,'” Azaria recalled on The Late Late Show.
“So I bulled my way back in for a second time and they were very kind and watched my audition, and then threw me out. Spoiler alert, I didn’t get the role of Joey!”
“Twice! I read that script,” he continued. “Matthew Perry is actually a very dear friend of mine, and so we all read the script. We didn’t know it was going to be the huge phenomenon it turned into, but we knew it was great, and we were all so desperate to be in it.”
The role of the loveable but dim-witted Joey eventually went to Matt LeBlanc, while Perry was cast as Chandler Bing, opposite co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer.
However, it wasn’t all bad for Azaria, as he later landed the opportunity to guest star in the recurring role of scientist David, the boyfriend of Kudrow’s Phoebe Buffay, making his debut on the show in 1994, and returning in four more episodes from 2001 to 2003.
Friends wrapped for good in 2004 after 10 seasons, and the main cast recently reunited to reminisce about the series for a TV special, which will debut on 27 May.
– Cover Media