David Schwimmer opens up about the DARK side of Friends fame

Before landing the role of Ross Geller in Friends, David Schwimmer had studied acting at Northwestern University and treaded the boards in LA.

In an effort to hone his craft, a young David would regularly engage with other people and happily draw inspiration from day-to-day situations, but this all changed after Friends hit the big time in the mid 90s.

Stunned by the level of fame he was experiencing at the height of his television career, David recently admitted that he began to withdraw – something which went against everything he had been taught during his days in university.

"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 told the Hollywood Reporter.

"The effect of celebrity was the absolute opposite: it made me want to hide under a baseball cap and not be seen," he explained. "And I realised after a while that I was no longer watching people; I was trying to hide."

After becoming a household name along with his five co-stars, a 27-year-old David struggled with the implications of their overnight fame.

"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 become comfortable with," he admitted.

Attempting to reconcile the actor he was before hitting the big time and the actor that emerged from the hit sitcom took David some time.

"So 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," he said.

Since finishing his last coffee in Central Perk, David has starred in a number of shows, mostly recently earning an Emmy nomination for his role in The People v. O.J Simpson: American Crime Story.