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David Schwimmer Slammed As ‘Bitter’ Following ‘Despicable’ Rant About Dead Monkey

by : Emily Brown on : 06 Jul 2021 12:14
David Schwimmer Slammed As 'Bitter' Following 'Despicable' Rant About Dead MonkeyPA Images/Warner Bros.

An animal trainer has described Friends star David Schwimmer as ‘bitter’ after the actor shared his grievances about working with a monkey on the show. 

Marcel the monkey appeared alongside the six friends in early episodes of the hit show, when he was taken in by Schwimmer’s character Ross and enjoyed snacking on bananas, listening to ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight‘ and messing with the TV remote.

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Though Ross and Marcel had a close relationship in the show, it became evident recently that their friendship didn’t translate to real life, as Schwimmer didn’t hold back when it came to discussing his scenes with Marcel at the recent Friends reunion.

Ross and Marcel in Friends (Warner Bros.)Warner Bros.

The actor recalled that the monkey would ‘mess up’ choreographed scenes because it ‘didn’t do its job right’, explaining, ‘So we would have to reset, we’d have to go again, because the monkey didn’t get it right. It was time for Marcel to f*ck off.’

Schwimmer’s comments prompted a response from animal handler Mike Morris, who was responsible for training the animals who played Marcel and argued the actor was actually just ‘jealous’ that the audience found the monkey funnier than him.

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Marcel was brought to life by two monkeys on the show, Katie and another capuchin named Monkey, who died last year.

Speaking to The Sun, Morris said he ‘never ever watched Friends’ because of Schwimmer’s unfavourable view of the monkeys, refusing to do so after the actor reportedly did an interview in which he said they ‘tried to bite him and throw poop at him’.

David Schwimmer (PA Images)PA Images

The animal trainer refuted Schwimmer’s claims, saying ‘they didn’t do any of that’ and explaining that while he didn’t speak out at the time, he chose to come forward after hearing the comments Schwimmer made at the reunion.

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He said:

Of course, I didn’t watch the reunion interview but I heard from others what Schwimmer said. I just don’t agree with it, if anything he threw off their timing if we want to be truthful.

Schwimmer was fine with the monkeys for the first couple of episodes and happy to be there. But people would laugh at the monkey and I think he got jealous because it wasn’t him getting the laughs.

He seemed to get a little bitter about them being there after that. And of course the monkeys didn’t like working with him after he turned on them.

It made it harder to do the work – a five-camera show is hard to work on with animals anyway so if you have an actor that’s not very helpful, it makes it even worse.

Ross and Marcel in Friends (Warner Bros.)Warner Bros.

Morris went on to recall how a colleague of his who also worked on Friends said that hearing the audience laugh at the monkey would ‘throw Schwimmer off’, claiming he is ‘not the kind of actor who can improvise’ and that he ‘didn’t want to rehearse’ with the monkey, which made filming the scenes more difficult.

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He continued, ‘It got to the point where he just really resented the monkey being there, he obviously had a problem with her and he’s still talking about it now. The other capuchin who played Marcel was called Monkey and passed away recently away from cancer so Schwimmer was talking ill of the dead when he made those comments.’

In the wake of Monkey’s death, Morris said it is ‘despicable’ for Schwimmer to be ‘speaking ill’ of the animal.

The trainer said it felt ‘good to talk honestly’ about the situation, and expressed his belief that more than 25 years later, it’s time for the actor ‘to let it go’.

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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: Animals, Film and TV, Friends, Monkeys

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The Sun
  1. The Sun

    'HE WAS JEALOUS' Friends’ David Schwimmer branded ‘despicable’ by Marcel the Monkey’s trainer for moaning about working with the animal