David Schwimmer Admits His Desire To Talk To Girls ‘Derailed’ Career In Medicine

by : Emily Brown on :
David Schwimmer Admits His Desire To Talk To Girls ‘Derailed’ Career In MedicineWarner Bros./PA

Friends star David Schwimmer has admitted his life could have gone in a very different direction if he wasn’t swayed by the girls in his acting class. 

The 54-year-old is best known for his role in the beloved sitcom Friends as Ross Geller, a palaeontologist with a PhD who is determined to let others know he is a doctor, despite his friends often being sceptical of whether his love of dinosaurs really warrants the title.


While his character has to fight for justification, it turns out the man who brought Ross to life could have actually taken on the title of doctor himself if he hadn’t chosen to pursue a career in acting.

Ross in Friends (Warner Bros.)Warner Bros.

In an interview with The Guardian, Schwimmer explained that before he became a professional actor, he had his sights set on becoming a surgeon.

Much like the character he ended up playing, Schwimmer described himself as having been a ‘big science geek,’ explaining: ‘I was fascinated by the human body: I knew everything about the lymphatic, the vascular and the skeletal systems.’


When it came to studying the subjects in class, however, Schwimmer said he found that he could ‘talk to more girls in acting class than in the science lab,’ and ultimately the realisation ‘kind of derailed [his] medical career.’

David Schwimmer (PA Images)PA Images
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The actor tested out a few different careers before settling on a life in front of the camera, taking up part-time work in an ice-cream shop, a ‘copy machine place’ and even as a ‘roller-skating waiter in Chicago,’ where he remained for seven years and made his ‘real money by doing stunts.’

He explained:


Everyone gets their burgers and fries, then you say: “Hey, you want me to jump over your kids for five bucks?” They’d have their kids lie on the ground and I’d just jump over them at 30mph.

While a life in surgery, surrounded by ice cream or on roller skates would have all been interesting in their own ways, I’m sure Schwimmer’s fans would agree he made the right decision.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, Acting, career, David Schwimmer, Friends, Now


The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    David Schwimmer: ‘I was a roller-skating waiter for seven years’