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.”
Dabbling in behind-the-scenes action was Schwimmer's escape from the public - after Friends he pursued production opportunities on a series of independent films.
“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."
12 years would pass until Schwimmer felt comfortable playing a major role again, starring on The People v. O.J. Simpson. as the original Kardashian - Robert Kardashian Senior.
To research for the role, he spent time with none other than Kris Jenner, the ex-wife of the famous lawyer. After talking at length about the man Robert Senior was, Schwimmer revealed: "There were a couple of clues that she gave me."
"He [Kardashian] had a crisis of faith."
David Schwimmer lives a notoriously private life with his wife of six years, British artist Zoe Buckman, and their five-year-old daughter Cleo in New York.
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