Old School Americana & Nostalgia

TV

‘Friends’ Guest Star Jean-Claude Van Damme Hated His Cameo in Series

‘Friends’ Guest Star Jean-Claude Van Damme Hated His Cameo in Series

Jean-Claude Van Damme is not proud of his cameo on Friends

The Last Action Hero star recently spoke with the New York Post and reflected on his part in the hugely popular sitcom. Van Damme played himself in the episode titled The One After the Super Bowl: Part 2, which aired during Season 2 in 1996. In the story, Monica and Rachel spot him on a film set near their NYC apartment. Monica wants to ask him on a date but can’t find the courage, so Rachel offers to do it for her. Instead of scoring a night out for her friend, she lands a date with him herself, which leads to some unhealthy competition between the roommates. 

Van Damme is famous for playing tough guy roles in action films, and he’s leaned into the typecasting. So when it came time to play—himself—he didn’t know how, and when he looked back on the project, he was embarrassed by his performance. 

“My acting is so bad. I look so like a ham,” he shared. ” Like, ‘Hey, girls.’ […] It’s like, I’m ashamed of myself. So then I was on the set, and those girls, they go and they kiss me and they kiss me on the lips. I didn’t know what to do, how to do… It was strange. They were very nice.”

Jean-Claude Had an ‘Amazing’ Experience Working on ‘Friends’

Despite Friends already being in its prime, Van Damme hadn’t really heard of it. He walked into filming that day and was shocked to find out it was the third high-rated series on television. Fortunately, the revelation didn’t create any extra nerves, though. 

“My agent said, ‘You have to do an episode with them,’” he remembered.

“I didn’t know much about the show,” admitted Van Damme. “So when I go to the show, I see those two beautiful girls, and they say this is the hottest show right now in the world. So I was very glad.”

While Jean-Claude Van Damme has trouble stomaching his acting, it doesn’t spoil his whole experience. As a whole, working on Friends left him with “a good memory,” and he has loads of respect for the work ethic of the cast and crew.

“[Aniston and Cox] were very open because they did the show every day,” he continued. “So for them, I enter into a place where everything is working like a very well-trained mechanic engine. It was amazing.”

You can watch Jean-Claude’s Friends Performance on HBO Max.