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Friends: Who Did Fisher Stevens Play & Why Did He Apologize To The Cast Years Later?

Over the course of the 10-year run of "Friends" from 1994 to 2004, the core sextet had countless love interests (when they weren't dating each other, that is) ranging from wine guys to yetis to Russ. In the Season 1 episode "The One With the Boobies," Phoebe's (Lisa Kudrow) beau du jour is Roger, a shrink played by Fisher Stevens.

Initially, Roger is a catch — sweet, attentive, and extremely perceptive. Well, maybe a little too perceptive. Pretty soon, he is psychoanalyzing all of Phoebe's friends, getting to the bitter root of Chandler's (Matthew Perry) sense of humor and suggesting that Ross' (David Schwimmer) marriage was an act of self-sabotage, among other unwelcome insights. By the end of the episode, everyone — even Phoebe — deems him "intense and creepy."

In a 2021 interview on PeopleTV's "Couch Surfing," Stevens admitted that he was just as unpleasant on the "Friends" set as his character. "Yeah, I was a d***," Stevens said. "I've rarely seen any of those people on 'Friends' again, but I'm sure if you asked them about me, they would go, 'What a New York snob.'" Stevens also delivered a belated apology to the "Friends" cast. "Yeah, I'm sorry guys. I'm sorry I was a d*** to you all. I apologize. I was bad, I was wrong."

Stevens didn't understand sitcom protocol, and he admits being a jerk because of it

Fisher Stevens will be the first to admit he was still a green actor when he appeared on "Friends" in 1995. Although he had already acted in plays, television, and films like "Short Circuit" and "Super Mario Bros," he had never worked on a sitcom before — and thus didn't understand the unique nature of their productions.

"They sent me the script, and I was like, 'Oh, this is fun, I'll do it.' So I learned my lines, and I lived in New York so I flew to L.A.," he said in the same "Couch Surfing" interview. Upon arriving on set, the writers had rewritten the entire script. To Stevens, it came off as unprofessional and inconvenient, not knowing such rewrites were commonplace in the sitcom world. "And I didn't know that," he continued. "I was kind of an a**hole, I have to admit. 'What do you mean? So I have to relearn lines that you've written that are worse than what you'd originally written?'"

Stevens would later get a hang of the TV comedy scene, appearing in episodes of "Frasier" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." He eventually carved out a coveted television career with roles in "The Blacklist," "The Good Fight," and "Succession." He also regularly collaborates with Wes Anderson. Still, Stevens learned one of his more valuable industry lessons on the set of "Friends."