That Time Will And Grace's Debra Messing Tried And Failed To Pull Off Rachel's Haircut From Friends

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Friends was once the hottest show on television, to the point that Jennifer Aniston's hair as Rachel Green was the envy of women everywhere. In fact, her iconic hairdo from Friends is pretty much universally known as 'The Rachel.' As it turns out, even other actresses on the sitcom circuit weren't immune to the impact of The Rachel, as Will and Grace star Debra Messing has revealed that she once tried to pull off the hairdo, and... well, it didn't go as planned. Here's what Messing had to say:

Partway through the series, when Friends was also on TV, we were like, 'Wait a minute, look at Jennifer Aniston's hair -- everyone loves it. They said, 'Maybe we should try and make you look like her.' So I went to Jennifer's hairstylist and got the cut. But it was a whole debacle when we tried to do it on the show. They literally tried for three hours to straighten my hair like hers. It was so full and poofy that it looked like a mushroom [laughs]. The whole thing was just a disaster, so [the producers] decided to just keep it curly. They were like, 'This is a problem, we need to find someone who can handle her hair!'

When Will and Grace premiered in 1998 on NBC, Friends was already a major hit for the network, so it makes a certain degree of sense that folks at the show wanted to capture some of the same appeal. The two shows were very different, but that didn't mean two actresses couldn't have the same hairstyle! Unfortunately for the hopefuls behind the scenes who wanted Grace to resemble Rachel, Debra Messing's naturally curly hair simply did not work with The Rachel haircut. Messing's comments to Refinery29 paint a picture of something Rachel Green would not have allowed on her own head.

Of course, Grace Adler's red hair came to be iconic in the series in its own way. It's difficult to imagine Grace with sleek chair chopped into The Rachel; the red curls work for her. Besides, it's clear that Will and Grace didn't need an actress with Jennifer Aniston's hair to be a hit in primetime. Will and Grace became a groundbreaking series during its original run on NBC, and its return to the small screen this fall has brought huge ratings for the Peacock Network, and it has already scored a renewal for a second revival season. Additionally, almost the entire original cast signed on for the revival, and the core four of Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally, and Sean Hayes are all back in fine form.

You can catch new episodes of Will and Grace on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. If you're in the mood for some of the earlier episodes, you're in luck: all eight original seasons are currently available streaming on Hulu. For your other viewing options, take a look at our fall TV premiere guide.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).