Jean-Claude Van Damme is embarrassed by his ‘Friends’ appearance

Jean-Claude Van Damme has been talking about the awkwardness he experienced during his one-episode appearance on Friends in 1996.

The Belgian action star played himself on the Season Two episode of the sitcom ‘The One After the Super Bowl: Part 2’. The plot finds Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Monica (Courteney Cox) competing for Van Damme’s affections while he is on set shooting a film in New York City.

Speaking to the New York Post, though, the actor has revealed that he is embarrassed to look back at the episode.


“My acting is so bad. I look so like a ham… I’m ashamed of myself,” he said. “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.”

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Van Damme has admitted that he was not very familiar with the show before appearing on it, but is complimentary about how he was treated, describing it as “a good memory” and “amazing”.

“I didn’t know much about the show. 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. They were very nice.”

In other Friends news, Ed Sheeran recently serenaded Courteney Cox with a snippet of his new song ‘American Town’, which he explained had been inspired by the show. “We ate Chinese food in small white boxes/Live the life we saw in Friends,” Sheeran sings during the song’s pre-chorus. The song features on his new album ‘Autumn Variations’, which was released in September.

In August, Friends scriptwriter Patty Lin claimed that the cast of the show were “aggressive” and “dire” to work with. Writing in her memoir, Lin, who wrote on Season Seven of the show, said: “The actors seemed unhappy to be chained to a tired old show when they could be branching out, and I felt like they were constantly wondering how every given script would specifically serve them.”


Van Damme’s likeness and voice feature as the character Johnny Cage in the 2023 fighting game Mortal Kombat 1.