Rudd, who starred as Phoebe Buffay’s (Lisa Kudrow) boyfriend and eventual husband Mike Hannigan on the hit sitcom, appeared on the Graham Norton Show to promote his new Netflix show Living With Yourself.
During the interview, which also included guests Robert De Niro, Sienna Miller and Bruce Springsteen, Norton asked the Rudd about his time on Friends in light of its 25th anniversary celebrations this year.
“It was an incredible thing to be a part of, and the whole experience seemed a bit surreal and a bit of a blur,” Rudd began.
“I was only coming on for a couple of episodes, it turned into a few more, but it was nearing the end of the show, which was a phenomenon…”
“I was in the last episode, which made no sense to me whatsoever,” he continued, revealing that he was on the soundstage filming the final episode where he saw Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Green, crying and hugging series co-creator Marta Kauffman.
“I thought, I’m not supposed to be there,” Rudd, who would later star with Aniston in Wanderlust, said. “So to break the ice I went over and just went, ‘We did it, huh? What a ride.’ The joke inevitably fell flat.”
In 2016, it was revealed that Rudd's character Mike wasn't supposed to become such a regular fixture on the show.
Hank Azaria, who played Mike's love rival David, said the initial plan was to bring his character back, but Friends showrunners were so impressed with Rudd they decided to keep him on the show.
“No, I didn’t know that was the end of David,” the actor said of his character's departure to Minsk. “The plan always was kind of to bring him back. I think, honestly, what happened was Paul Rudd is so awesome that they sort of found a groove with him and [my character] became more of just the grist for that mill. As opposed to the other way around.”
“It actually did sting a little bit,” Azeria responded when asked how he felt about the decision. “Whatever part of me is David the Science Guy who went to Minsk, which admittedly is probably a small part of me [laughs], but that part of me wanted to end up with Phoebe. So I was sort of sad when I didn’t.”
“He certainly has gone on to prove that he was deserving of Phoebe’s love,” Azaria added of Rudd. “He’s a handsome devil. He’s actually annoyingly handsome. He shouldn’t really be allowed to be that handsome. He’s like the Tom Brady of comedy.”
Rudd’s new series Living With Yourself is released on Netflix on 18 October. The Graham Norton Show continues next Sunday on BBC One.