Actor David Schwimmer says that he struggled with his overnight fame once FRIENDS became a huge hit after debuting in 1994.
The 49-year-old actor, who recently made his return to TV in American Crime Story: The People v OJ Simpson nearly 12 years after FRIENDS wrapped, said to The Hollywood Reporter that the adjustment to celebrity status was very hard for him.
“It was pretty jarring and it messed with my relationship to other people in a way that took years, I think, for me to kind of 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, and so I used to walk around with my head up, and really engaged and watching people,” Schwimmer said.
“The effect of celebrity was the absolute opposite. It made me want to hide under a baseball cap, not be seen. And I realized after a while that I was no longer watching people. I was trying to hide.
“So 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? So that was tricky,” he added.
The NBC sitcom also launched the careers of his costars, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and Lisa Kudrow.
Schwimmer feels the connect television has with audience makes them to rely on the characters they see.
“Because you are in their home, there’s something very approachable about actors on television, and I think especially in a half-hour comedy, where there’s something very comforting about it.
“In our show I’m the same guy for 10 years, you can rely on me to be a certain way and you know me or you think you know me.”
After the series ended in 2004, Schwimmer chose to act in theatre productions and direct smaller films instead of starring in box-office blockbusters like some of his costars.
He agreed to sign on for FX’s version of the O.J. Simpson trial and play Robert Kardashian only after finding out about the other talented people associated with the project, including creator Ryan Murphy, Sarah Paulson, John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr.
The portrayal has earned Schwimmer his second Emmy nomination, for outstanding supporting actor in a limited series. His first nod was in 1995 for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for Friends.
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