David Schwimmer Reveals ‘Friends’ Had A Devastating Impact On His Life

More than a decade after Friends faded to black for its final episode, David Schwimmer has opened up about his experience starring on the ubiquitous sitcom, claiming that it almost ruined his life.

At the height of the show’s success, David, 49, along with his co-stars Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry were raking in over $1 million each per episode.

Subsequently the six cast members became household names – but that’s something that David, who played goofy and lovable Ross Geller, really struggled with (because no one told him life was gonna be this way).


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Recalling his time on Friends and reflecting on becoming a global star at age 27, he told The Hollywood Reporter: “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.

“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.

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


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Eventually, he realised that he needed to regain control of his life and decided to reinvent himself as a director and movie actor in later years.

“I was trying to figure out: How do I be an actor in this new world, in this new situation? How do I do my job? That was tricky,” he explained.

However, after pursuing other projects, David made a comeback to the small screen earlier this year, playing Robert Kardashian in the People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

Speaking about the recent project, he revealed that when he first signed on for the role, he had no idea who his assigned character was in real life, but later immersed himself into researching the original Kardashian.


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After reading countless books, watching numerous videos and actively researching online, he admits that the “single most helpful thing” was speaking for “four hours” with Rob Kardashian’s widow, Kris Jenner.

“There were a couple of clues that she gave me,” he said. “He [Kardashian] had a crisis of faith.”

Ultimately Schwimmer’s Kardashian became the conscience of the series, which also starred Selma Blair as Jenner, and went on to receive 22 Emmy nominations, including ‘Outstanding Limited Series.’

The writing teams behind the FX true crime anthology series are hard at work on the scripts for the second installment, which will focus on Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath of the natural disaster.