Which Friends Actor Turned Down Will Smith's Role In Men In Black?

​With careers now in theatre, film and on Top Gear, we find out which Friends star turned down the blockbuster role

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Having married three times during his time playing Ross Gellar in Friends, it's safe to say we know David Schwimmer can rock a black suit.

But the actor has just revealed he turned down the chance to play Agent J in Men in Black – the role later given to Academy-Award nominee, Will Smith.

Wait, what?

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According to Schwimmer, he was offered the role while preparing to star and direct the television show Since You've Been Gone but ended up turning down the gig because he didn't want to let his castmates down.

'I had told everyone in the theatre company, 'You're all cast. Here are your roles. Don't take any other jobs for this six-week period,' he told Awards Chatter.

'So everyone turned down all these opportunities — teaching jobs, other plays; everyone was banking on doing this first film with me,' he added.

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The 49-year-old – who has since starred in Band of Brothers and American Crime Story: The People v O.J.Simpson – revealed: 'About a month before production, I get the call about Men in Black, which was a direct conflict with doing, directing that film. And I just said, 'I can't.''

'These are my closest friends in the world. This is their first shot at a movie, my first shot at directing. It wasn't even like a choice. It was like, 'I can't.''

Now, that's a real friend. 

The star also took the opportunity to admit how hard he found fame following the success of Friends, which ran from 1994 to 2004.

'It made me want to hide under a baseball cap, not be seen. And I realised after a while that I was no longer watching people; I was trying to hide. So I was trying to figure out: How do I be an actor in this new world, in this new situation? How do I do my job? So that was tricky.'

'I wanted to not have a schedule, not be somewhere. I was in a position to do that. My agent was bummed. Most actors call their agents and say, 'What's going on?'. I'd call mine and say, 'Please lose my number for a few years.' It was a very dark time. I almost had a nervous breakdown,' he added

Despite his struggle, it looks like the father-of-one has found peace in his career, with a new drama series Feed The Beast (starring opposite Jim Sturgess) set for release in October.

Sorry David, but we're still holding out for Friends The Movie

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