David Schwimmer on ‘Friends’ fame: ‘It made me want to hide’

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 17 (UPI) — David Schwimmer says his fame from Friends was an overwhelming experience.

The 49-year-old actor, who played Ross Gellar on the long-running NBC sitcom, admitted in a Hollywood Reporter Awards Chatter podcast that he struggled with his sudden fame.

“It was a huge, life-changing event,” Schwimmer said of the show’s success. “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 been seen,” he confessed.

Friends had a 10-season run on NBC from 1994 to 2004 and remains one of the most-watched television series of all time. Schwimmer had shared similar sentiments about fame in a 2011 interview with the Telegraph.

“[There were] dark periods where I allowed myself to be complicit in the whole celebrity thing — even though it was something I always resisted and still do resist,” the star said.

“The biggest effect celebrity had on me was that I stopped being open and receptive and started to walk around with my head down,” he revealed. “[Celebrity] made me want to hide — to run away and hide.”

Schwimmer has since portrayed Robert Kardashian on American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson and is nominated for an Emmy award for the role. He presently stars on the AMC series Feed the Beast, which finished a first season Aug. 2.

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