Paul Rudd Still Can't Believe He Landed 'Friends' Gig, Admits He Thought 'I Shouldn't Be Here' in Series Finale

The Ant-Man actor opened up about the "surreal" and "strange" experience of appearing in the megahit sitcom's series finale after joining Friends in its penultimate season

FRIENDS, Lisa Kudrow, Paul Rudd, (Season 10), 1994-2004
Photo: Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

If any viewers have ever wondered why Paul Rudd was included in Friends' emotional series finale, the actor himself is right there with them.

The Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania actor shared his perspective on joining the legendary sitcom as Phoebe's (Lisa Kudrow) husband Mike Hannigan in the penultimate season.

"It was really fun, and they were great! The whole thing was a bit surreal, I must say," the 53-year-old actor said on the Heart breakfast radio show. "I never knew that I was going to be in as many [episodes] as I was. But it also felt strange."

FRIENDS, ('The One With Phoebe's Wedding', Season 10), Paul Rudd, Lisa Kudrow, 1994
NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

He explained how joining near the end of the show after the cast and crew already worked together for eight seasons made him feel "strange" when he joined the show for its last episode.

While his costars were emotional at the end, Rudd said he felt like it might have been more appropriate if he took a backseat.

"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 recalled. "They were all crying. It was all emotional. I was just like, Whoa."

He added, "I felt very privileged, but I also was like, I just don't want to sit back here and get in the way."

Paul Rudd rollout
Michael Schwartz

Rudd's latest return to TV will be in the third season of Hulu's Only Murders in the Building where he will join the Emmy-nominated cast of Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez alongside fellow newcomer Meryl Streep.

In PEOPLE's latest cover story, Rudd revealed how excited he is for the role as he stars opposite some of his idols in the industry.

"I came in there, and there's Meryl Streep, who is arguably the greatest of all time," he recalls. "And Martin Short, who is one of the funniest people on the planet, and somebody that just, I love, I really love."

He continued, "And yet to be there with Steve Martin, when I think back on people who probably had more of an impact on my life and my wanting to do this, or my understanding that performing or anything was even a career somebody would have, it was him."

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Only Murders in the Building is currently in production on its third season. Seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on Hulu, and Friends can be streamed in full on HBO Max.

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