Paul Rudd Reveals He Injured Jennifer Aniston On ‘Friends’ Set, Feared Getting Fired During His First Episode
Paul Rudd’s first and last days on the Friends set did not go well, and it’s all because of Jennifer Aniston. The actor, who played Phoebe Buffay’s (Lisa Kudrow) future husband, Mike Hannigan, on the NBC sitcom, recently dished about two awkward encounters he had with the famous Friends star during his two-year run on the Emmy-winning comedy.
According to Fox News, in an interview on The Graham Norton Show, Rudd revealed he feared he would get fired from Friends while he was shooting his very first episode of the show in 2002.
“I was on set for my first episode and Jennifer was on a Segway because she had broken her toe, and everyone was marveling at it,” Rudd said.
The actor went on to explain that Friends regular Matt LeBlanc asked to have a go on the motorized vehicle and “immediately knew how to do it.” The vehicle looked easy to operate, so Rudd asked to give it a whirl, too.
But the short-time Friends star said what happened next put him into a tailspin and had him fearing for his job.
“I spun ’round and rolled it right over Jennifer’s foot! The producers’ look of panic was as if to say: ‘Is it too late to fire him? Has his character been established yet?’ I felt awful. Such an inauspicious start.”
But that wasn’t Rudd’s only awkward encounter with Aniston. Buzzfeed notes that he invaded her space while shooting the Friends finale in 2004, an episode in which his character Mike’s presence “made no sense to him whatsoever.”
Rudd explained that the original Friends stars were all emotional during the finale filming, and he, meanwhile, didn’t really understand why he was there as the cast was wrapping up 10 seasons together. Rudd then decided to creep up on Aniston to try to cheer her up, but his attempt at humor failed.
“I was on the sound stage. And Jennifer Aniston was crying and I thought, ‘I’m not supposed to be here.’ So, to break the ice, I went over and said: ‘Well, we did it! What a ride!’ The joke inevitably fell flat.”
Luckily for Rudd, Aniston got over his on-set antics. While she didn’t stay in touch with all of her longtime Friends co-stars, Aniston and Rudd remain close friends and even co-starred in the 2012 film Wanderlust, the film that introduced Aniston to her future husband Justin Theroux.
While promoting the film, Aniston was asked if it felt weird to kiss her longtime pal Rudd on camera.
“Nah. I’ve kissed him for years,” she told GQ.
Friends recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.