David Schwimmer experienced a meteoric rise to fame after being cast as science-nerd Ross on Friends — but with it came deep, isolating lows, the 49-year-old has revealed.
Speaking on ‘Awards Chatter’ – a podcast by The Hollywood Reporter – Schwimmer described himself as “a very private person”, and explained that becoming a household name challenged him in unprecedented ways.
“It was a huge, life-changing event. It was really terrifying at times,” Schwimmer told host Scott Feinberg.
“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 be comfortable with."
While he was earning $1 million per episode in the show's prime, the father-of-one says the attention he received from Friends inhibited his acting, and ultimately his ability to work.
“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.
Schwimmer's response was to withdraw from public life almost completely.
“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.”