Paul Rudd joined the Friends cast a bit later than most, becoming a series regular in season 9. However, early on in filming, he was worried he’d lose the gig because of a careless accident.
By mistake, he drove Jennifer Aniston’s new segway right over her already-injured foot, scaring everyone on set that day.
Jennifer Aniston enjoyed riding segways when they first came out
Around the time Paul Rudd became a member of the Friends cast, the segway had just been released to the market and was a hot commodity. Aniston was one of the first of the cast to get one, and she entertained herself by riding around set on it between scenes.
Rudd recalled the time during a resurfaced 2019 interview with Howard Stern.
“She had a segway, I think it was the first episode, maybe—it was the first or second episode and she had a segway because I think it was a brand new thing, you know, and she was zipping around the soundstage,” Rudd said.
Everyone on set wanted to ride the segway
Because it was still a technological phenomenon, everyone on set wanted to ride Aniston’s segway. Matt LeBlanc was the first to hop on it, and he was able to control it without issue. This inspired Rudd to take a shot at riding it.
“And her foot had been injured,” Rudd continued. “Like, she had, I don’t know, I think she had had a broken foot. Not that she needed a segway to get around, but she was kind of using this thing. And so Matt LeBlanc wanted to try it, and I said, ‘Oh, can I try?’ You know, I’d never been on one.”
Paul Rudd ran over Jennifer Aniston’s injured foot with a segway
Rudd was clearly excited to ride on the segway, but things quickly went wrong. Aniston had tried to explain to him how to safely operate it, but Rudd made a mistake and ended up riding right over her injured foot.
“And she was holding it as I was standing on it and saying, ‘Ok, just be careful because finding your center of gravity is a challenge,’” Rudd said. “And I said, ‘Ok, alright,’ and then she let go, and I started to lean back or turn, and I turned the thing instead of going straight. And it just ran over her foot. Her bad foot.”
Everyone was worried about Jennifer Aniston
Because Aniston was a central character in one of the most popular TV shows ever, everyone freaked out when she got hurt. The crew knew they couldn’t afford to lose her, so the reaction wasn’t great when the incident happened.
“She went like, ‘Oh!’ and then I could tell … like, immediate shock,” Rudd said. “There were a group of people, including writers and producers, they looked completely freaked out. She said, ‘I’m ok, I’m ok.’ …”
Even though Aniston was in extreme pain, she took it like a pro and maintained that she was alright.
“She was in pain … I think it was that default mechanism in her, she’s like, ‘No, no, don’t worry, it’s fine, I’m ok, I’m ok, I just need to sit down for a second,” Rudd said.
Paul Rudd was worried he’d get fired
Because Rudd was a relative newcomer to the show at the time, he was very replaceable. Knowing this, he was afraid his little accident would get him kicked off the show.
“No one’s gonna miss Mike Hannigan,” Rudd said.
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