Guess we were a little too there for David Schwimmer. He became a household name as Ross Geller in "Friends," picking up new co-star friends, new loyal fans, and some fat new paychecks. But he felt the overnight fame, coming when he was 27, was a Catch-22 -- he had a steady acting job, but the attention ruined his people-watching acting process. Now he was the one being watched.

"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," Schwimmer told The Hollywood Reporter. "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. The effect of celebrity was the absolute opposite: It made me want to hide under a baseball cap and not be seen. And I realized after a while that I was no longer watching people; I was trying to hide. 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."

The cast of the NBC television series "Friends" (L-R) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller,  Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller and Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green are pictured in this undated publicity photograph.The series received an  Emmy nomination as Best Comedy series as Emmy nominations were announced July 18, 2002 in Los Angeles. The Emmy Awards will be presented in Los Angeles September 22. NO SALES REUTERS/Jon Ragel/NBC/HandoutSchwimmer earned his first Emmy nomination for "Friends," and now 21 years later he is nominated for his role as O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Kardashian in "The People v. O.J. Simpson." Even taking on new roles, it's hard for Schwimmer to shake off Ross. He told THR that TV stardom is different from any other kind because of the intimacy of spending one night a week in people's homes for 10 years.

"There's less of a barrier than there is with, say, a big movie star — you see them in this other kind of a space with a lot of other people on a big screen and you see that their role changes in every movie, for the most part," Schwimmer said. "They're very different people in very different situations, whereas in our show I'm the same guy for 10 years, you can rely on me to be a certain way and you know me — or you think you know me."

You think you know him. But he's not Ross. He's just the rich guy who played him for a while. And now he wants to observe you for his next role, so please keep walking.

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Based on 20 critics

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