Paul Rudd, 53, reminisced on the time he played the role of Mike Hannigan, Phoebe Buffay’s love interest on Friends, in a new interview. The actor, who appeared on 17 episodes late in the show’s 10-season run, said he had a good time during the process, but admitted to feeling a bit “strange” to be a part of the series finale. “It also felt strange. I was in that last episode and I just thought … ‘I shouldn’t be here … I’m getting like a front row seat to things I’m not supposed to see,’” he said on the new episode of Heart Breakfast.
He went on to also call the experience “fun” and called the cast and crew “great” to work with. “It was really fun and they were great,” he said. “The whole thing was a bit surreal … to be a part of that. I never knew that I was going to be in as many [episodes] that I was.”
Paul further recalled the cast, which included Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc, as being very emotional during the last episode. “They were all crying, it was all emotional. And I just was like, ‘Woah’ … I felt very privileged, but I also was like ‘Uh – I just want to sit back here and not get in the way,’” he explained.
The impact Friends had on pop culture also came up in the interview conversation, and Paul said he feels it’s a “comforting” thing. “There’s something comforting about it, isn’t there?” he said. “In the States you can always kind of flip around on some channel – you’re gonna find it.”
Paul’s run on Friends lasted from 2002 until 2004 and he went on to earn bigger roles in both television and film, becoming one of the industry’s most beloved actors. Some of his most well known series and movies include The Shrink Next Door, Role Models, I Love You, Man, The 40-Year-old Virgin, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Ant-Man, Avengers: Endgame, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife.