Paul Rudd Recalls Feeling 'Like a Prop' on 'Friends'

June 30, 2020

While many fans still fondly remember Paul Rudd as Mike Hannigan on the hit ‘90s sitcom, “Friends,” the actor doesn’t think he played a huge part in the show's success.

In fact, the 51-year-old says he oftentimes “felt like a prop.”

"In something like 'Friends,' the show was about them, but it's an interesting thing to be a part of," Rudd said while chatting with Chris Evans for Variety's "Actors on Actors" series.

"I was only in it for just a blip," he said of his time on the NBC show.

The “Ant-Man” actor first appeared on the sitcom in 2002 in an episode titled “The One With the Pediatrician.”

He served as Phoebe Buffay’s (Lisa Kudrow) love interest for a total of 17 episodes. The duo got married during the 10th and final season of the show.

He admitted that he felt like a prop because he was a secondary character to the core six: “It's not about Mike Hannigan,” he said.

However, he acknowledged that “there's a very interesting feeling to be a part of something that has that kind of profound impact on pop culture.”

This isn’t the first time Rudd shared his experiences on “Friends.”

In October 2019, Rudd elaborated on feeling out of place on the set of the show during an appearance on "The Graham Norton Show.”

He recalled feeling awkward while filming the series finale because he wasn’t on the show for the full 10 seasons like the main cast.

"The show was a phenomenon and I was in the very last episode, which made no sense to me whatsoever," Rudd said. "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!" he admitted.

His time on the sitcom came early in his career. Since then he’s found massive success as Scott Lang, a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Rudd will also star as Mr. Grooberson in the upcoming “Ghostbusters” sequel titled, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

The main cast of “Friends” is set to reunite for an unscripted special on HBO Max. Filming is set to begin in August after COVID production delays.

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