This actor saved this character from Friends to the delight of fans. The scenario of the series was indeed very different originally.
"Friends" is one of those rare series that has become instantly cult and has won over generations of viewers. If the scriptwriting springs and the gags have become memorable, the success of this program also depends on its performers. Thanks to "Friends", Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer have become international stars inseparable from their characters in the series.
So it's hard to imagine that "Friends" could have been much different: Courteney Cox should have played the character of Rachel, while Monica and Chandler were not originally intended to end up as a couple. Worse still, one of the six main characters was not to be so funny and beloved by fans.
Originally, the writers had written Joey's character as someone very unsympathetic. He was, moreover, to end up in a relationship with Monica and form the main couple of the series. In fact, series creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane told NBC News that they didn't want Matt LeBlanc to play Joey originally, and that the actor had doubts the character as originally written when he auditioned.
Ignoring the guidelines given to him when casting, Matt LeBlanc decided to play the character differently from how he was written, to play him as we know him today. A gamble that ultimately paid off and completely changed the actor's life.