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Junior integrated media major Ava Willford poses for a portrait inside Donkey Coffee dressed as Rachel Green from Friends. Willford recreated seven photos of Rachel starting Oct. 16 and created a new photo for each day of the week.

Q&A: Student recreates photos of Rachel from TV show ‘Friends’

Rachel Green from Friends recently came to Athens, went to class and walked the bricks. Well, not Rachel exactly, but students who spotted Ava Willford last week might have thought she was the beloved character from Friends.

Willford, a junior studying integrated media, recreated seven photos of the character Rachel from Friends, starting Oct. 16 and created a new photo for each day of the week.

The Post talked to Willford about why she decided to recreate these photos of the down-to-earth character from the iconic TV show.

The Post: What made you decide to start recreating these photos?

Willford: I’ve always been into large projects like this. Like last year, I did a 25 days of Christmas shirts, where I different Christmas shirt everyday until Christmas. I’ve always really been into Halloween and going all out. Over the summer, I started thinking about what I’m going to do for Halloween. “I could be Rachel Green. That would be fun.” I was looking up outfits and then I was like, “Oh my gosh. There’s so many. I could totally do a whole week and try to wear different outfits of hers.”

P: How many times have you seen the show Friends? Are you a big fan of Friends?

W: I’m a big fan, but I feel like, who isn’t? I just love it so much. I’ve seen it all the way through once, and then it’s always on TV. It’s one of those shows that you are constantly seeing re-runs. Nick at Nite plays them and stuff like that.

P: What have people’s reactions been on social media to these photos?

W: I got really positive reactions from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I remember meeting someone for coffee and they were like, "Your outfit really reminds me of Rachel from Friends.” And I was like, “No way. That’s exactly what I was going for.” That was pretty sweet. I thought that when I posted the picture, I put a quote from the show. That got people thinking. They knew what episode that was and I think that had a greater impact than just posting the picture. I feel like people have a lot of good memories from the show.

P: What do you like about Rachel? Why did you choose her?

W: I love the show Friends and I think it’s a very iconic show, especially the wardrobe and costuming. And Rachel Green especially. I feel like a lot of her outfits are memorable. I like her fashion sense, and I like her drive. I admire her career drive and also her fashion intertwines in some stuff too. I feel like she had a passion for fashion, where it’s like, “this is my dream, so I’m going to go do it.” And I feel the same way about my major, so I feel like we relate on that level.

P: Did you have to buy any clothes for this, or was this solely from your wardrobe?

W: A lot of it was, I already owned some of the pieces because I love '90s fashion, but I did have to borrow some things. And I’m a huge thrift shopper, so I’ve been thrifting since high school. It wasn’t that hard for me to go to the thrift stores and track down these outfits. And actually, some of them I had friends and family help me make. The plaid skirt one, that was a nightgown. I’m in Delta Zeta, and our house mom helped us make this long grandma nightgown and turn it into a skirt, so that was really fun.

P: How many more people have followed you on Twitter because of these recreations?

W: Honestly, quite a few. I don’t know an exact number, but I did notice people were following because other people would retweet me and other people would like it. I didn’t expect that many people would see it. That was cool to see. 

P: How long did it take you to prepare for each photo?

W: I started in the summer. I picked outfits in the summer and made a list of all the things that I needed. Being in Athens, we don’t have that great of thrift stores, I guess. We just have that one Goodwill, and a couple times I had to wait until I would go home, because I’m from Columbus and there’s a plethora of thrift stores there. So I had to plan around when I was going home, and I went home to get all the outfits together. It took me awhile to get everything just right, but I would rather be accurate and get everything exactly right. I thought it would be nice to do it around Halloween, so I planned to do it around October. 

P: Would you recreate any other characters from TV shows in the future?

W: I don’t know. My friend and I have thought about trying to do Lorelai and Rory Gilmore because she’s my big in my sorority, so we kind of joke about how she’s Lorelai and I’m Rory. So we thought about doing that before I even had this Friends idea. That would be a cool one to do because it would be two of us. She actually was Monica for one of my pictures that I posted on Instagram because she recently cut her hair short like Monica’s. So I thought, “it would be so funny, Monica and Rachel.” So I think Lorelai and Rory would be a good one and pretty easy to do. They’re quirky and have cute little outfits. And quotes would be easy to do. That would be a good idea, especially with the whole revival. Everyone’s talking about it, so that would get people excited. So maybe I can do that next month. I feel like it took me so long to get all the Friends stuff together that I’ll need to prepare, especially with double outfits.


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