During his ten seasons on the NBC hit comedy Friends, David Schwimmer made oodles of cash and earned an Emmy nomination for playing the frequently lovelorn Ross Geller. But the actor, who is up for another Emmy for his role as Robert Kardashian on the FX drama The People v. O.J. Simpson, explains that with the overnight fame and immense wealth from Friends came a lot of stress in his personal life.

"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,” Schwimmer told THR.com. “The effect of celebrity was the absolute opposite. It made me want to hide under a baseball cap and not be seen.”

At its height, Friends would routinely draw 20+ million weekly viewers, with two episodes ("The One After the Superbowl" and “The Last One”) attracting more than 52 million fans. Of course it was also, and continues to be, syndicated everywhere. So Schwimmer could hardly remain hidden in plain sight.

“It was really terrifying at times,” Schwimmer added. “Suddenly people were treating me in a very, very different way that sometimes was flattering, but mostly very invasive. I was a very private person…It [fame] just changes how you relate to people or it can change how you relate to people.”

Schwimmer just closed out the first season of his new AMC series, Feed the Beast. The program debuted to nearly 1 million viewers, but those numbers quickly sank, with the finale bringing in just over 400,000. 

David Eckstein is a writer living in Los Angeles.