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David Schwimmer Says ‘Friends’ Almost Ruined His Life

He opens up about the difficult time he had with fame.

David Schwimmer became a household name for playing the role of Ross on the hit show Friends, but he has opened up in an interview about the downside to his acting success. 

Though he was earning $1 million an episode, the actor told The Hollywood Reporter that becoming an overnight celebrity at the age of 27 wasn’t as positive an experience as you might expect.

“It was pretty jarring and it messed with my relationship to other people in a way that took years, I think, for me to adjust to and become comfortable with,” he said.

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He also spoke about the transition of how he interacted with the world. 

“As an actor, the way I was trained, my job was to observe life and to observe other people, so I used to walk around with my head up, really engaged and watching people,” he said.

“The effect of celebrity was the absolute opposite: it made me want to hide under a baseball cap and not be seen. I realised that after a while I was no longer watching people; I was trying to hide.”

He was also offered what could have been a ground-breaking role – Agent J in Men In Black (which was played by Will Smith). However, he had to turn it down as he was directing a movie at the time, a decision he says was never really a choice for him.

“About a month before production, I get the call about Men in Black, which was a direct conflict with directing that film,” he said. “And I just said, ‘I can’t’. These are my closest friends in the world – this is their first shot at a movie, my first shot at directing. It wasn’t even like a choice.”

However he did make the return to TV recently as Rob Kardashian in The People v. O.J. Simpson. The show has received 22 Emmy nominations, just one less than Game of Thrones.

David Schwimmer as Rob Kardashian

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