Friends actors Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow could have played husband and wife on this popular sitcom!

Did you know that both stars were offered the roles of Phil and Claire Dunphy? Here's why both of them turned down the offers.
The Final Days Of "Friends"
The Final Days Of "Friends" / David Hume Kennerly/GettyImages

In another world, Friends actors Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow could have played onscreen husband and wife on another popular sitcom. And that would be Modern Family! What's so interesting is that each of the stars was offered the role of Phil and Claire Dunphy, respectively. Now that would have been interesting!

As producers were building Modern Family and trying to find their cast, the script was sent to the Joey Tribbiani actor, and he was offered the role of the Dunphy patriarch. This came at the time LeBlanc's Friends spin-off series, Joey, came to an end unsuccessfully. And he turned down the offer. Here's what the actor told USA Today:

" I remember reading it thinking, this is a really good script, [but] I’m not the guy for this. I’d be doing the project an injustice to take this. I know what I can do, I know what I can’t do. Plus, I’m having too much fun laying on the couch."

LeBlanc's gut feeling was correct as the Modern Family team already had Ty Burrell, who ended up getting the role, in mind to play the lovable real estate agent. However at first they were nervous executives wouldn't go with him as Burrell wasn't a big enough name in the industry at the time. Well, now he definitely is!

(ABC/Eric McCandless) /

Kudrow was one of the actresses who was being considered for the role of the head of the Dunphy family, Claire. Though the actress had her reservations, which were similar to LeBlanc's. She too felt like she wasn't right for the role and wouldn't fit the character. Kudrow said the following to Access Hollywood:

"I thought, ‘I don’t know what I’d do with it.' And, so, you know, that’s all. Julie Bowen does know what to do with it, so, it’s all as it should be."

While these two stars are hilarious and talented in their own ways, that doesn't mean they would be right for every comedic role. Both LeBlanc and Kudrow were smart enough to see this. I mean, it definitely would have been cool to see the two Friends actors reunite onscreen, especially as husband and wife this time. But I truly don't think Modern Family would have been as successful, and viewers wouldn't have been able to connect with the characters as much. Again, this has nothing to do with talent or the lack of onscreen chemistry.

It's just what each person is able to bring to certain characters. Burrell brought a quality to Phil that's so endearing, it's no wonder he's definitely a fan-favorite. And Julie Bowen has become iconic as Claire. The uptight and perfectionist character, which is definitely a Pritchett trait, was balanced out with Phil and both actors brought their A-game. I can't imagine anyone else in these roles, and ultimately I think the job went to the right people. Friends and Modern Family fans, what do you think?

All 10 seasons of Friends are currently streaming on Max. All 11 seasons of Modern Family are currently streaming on Hulu and Peacock.

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