The Marvel star admitted as much in a recent interview with the British radio show “The Heart” while promoting his latest, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” Though his recurring character played a major role in the final 2004 season, he said he felt out of place.
“It was really fun, and they were great!” Rudd said of his co-stars. “The whole thing was a bit surreal, I must say, to be a part of that — because I came on really at the end. I never knew that I was going to be in as many as I was. But it also felt strange.”
Rudd was 33 when he joined “Friends” in Season 9, per Entertainment Weekly. His character Mike Hannigan initially was the boyfriend of Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe Buffay, who agrees to marry him in Season 10 and to have his children in the finale.
The aptly titled “The Last One” episode aired on May 6, 2004, with 52.5 million people watching, according to The New York Times. The emotional finale saw all six characters part ways in couples or alone, and marked the end of an era for the actors themselves.
“I was in that last episode, and I just thought, ‘I shouldn’t be here. I’m getting like a front-row seat to things I’m not supposed to see,’” Rudd told “The Heart.” “They were all crying, it was all emotional, and I was just like, ‘Whoa!’”
“I mean, I felt very privileged,” he continued. “But I also was like, ‘I just want to sit back here and not get in the way.’”
Perry recently recalled being the only one during the finale filming with dry eyes.
“Even Matt LeBlanc was crying,” Perry, who was struggling with severe drug addiction at the time, reportedly wrote in his memoir. “But I felt nothing. I couldn’t tell if that was because of the opioid buprenorphine I was taking, or if I was just generally dead inside.”
Rudd himself has come a long way since early supporting roles and deadpan turns in films like “Anchorman” (2004) and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (2005). Now 53, he’s a major Marvel Cinematic Universe player and was recently named “Sexiest Man Alive.”
“I figure I’ll be on a lot more yachts,” Rudd told People in 2021 when asked how his life might change after the magazine’s honor. “I’m excited to expand my yachting life. And I’ll probably try to get better at brooding in really soft light. I like to ponder.”