Jean-Claude Van Damme Ashamed Of ’90s Hit Sitcom Role

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Action star Jean-Claude Van Damme is still haunted by his Friends cameo in the Season 2 episode, “The One After The Super Bowl: Part 2.” Speaking to the New York Post, the actor recalled his performance on the sitcom, saying, “My acting is so bad. I look so like a ham. Like, ‘Hey, girls…’ It’s like, I’m ashamed of myself.”

Jean-Claude Van Damme Is Embarrassed Of His Cameo In Friends

The Belgian action hero played himself in the episode’s storyline, where Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) convinces Monica (Courteney Cox) to approach Jean-Claude Van Damme, who is shooting a film in New York City. Since Monica was too timid to make the first move, Rachel took the initiative on her behalf, resulting in a conflict over who would have the opportunity to date him.

Reflecting on his Friends role, Jean-Claude Van Damme explained that his agent convinced him to take the part. “I didn’t know much about the show,” he said of the NBC sitcom. “So when I go to the show, I see those two beautiful girls, and they say this is the hottest show right now in the world. So I was very glad,” he continued.

Despite His Acting, Van Damme Is Happy He Made The Appearance

Despite feeling uncomfortable about the cameo, Jean-Claude Van Damme counts the experience as a cherished memory. “They were very open because they did the show every day. So for them, I enter into a place where everything is working like a very well-trained mechanic engine,” he continued. “It was amazing.”

Jean-Claude Van Damme even joked that Friends, which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004, was more popular than his entire movie catalog. “But everybody [talks] about that show more than all of my movies together,” the actor said before stating that he meant no malice by the comment. “Nothing wrong!” he added. “But as to show you how strong TV can be.”

Jean-Claude Van Damme Is An Action Icon

jean claude van damme

Besides his Friends cameo, Jean-Claude Van Damme is known for his work in action films and is considered one of the most iconic stars in the genre. His breakthrough in the film industry came with the 1988 movie Bloodsport, which showcased his martial arts skills and established him as an action hero. He followed this success with films like Kickboxer in 1989, Lionheart in 1990, and Double Impact in 1991.

The 1990s were a peak period for Jean-Claude Van Damme’s career. He starred in several successful action films, including Universal Soldier in 1992, Hard Target in 1993, Timecop in 1994, Sudden Death in 1995, and The Quest in 1996. Despite his success, the actor faced personal challenges, including substance abuse issues.

Van Damme’s Recent Hits Include The Expendables 2 And Kung Fu Panda 2

But Jean-Claude Van Damme made a comeback with his 2008 film JCVD, where he played a fictionalized version of himself, receiving critical acclaim. Since then, Van Damme appeared in action, comedy, and drama films. His later works include The Expendables 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, and the Amazon series Jean-Claude Van Johnson in 2016.

Jean-Claude Van Damme Will Next Appear In Frenchy

jean-claude van damme

His next project is the upcoming action drama Frenchy, on which Jean-Claude Van Damme serves as writer, director, and producer. The initial version of the film, titled “The Eagle Path,” was presented at a special distributor screening at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival to secure distribution for a potential theatrical release. Unfortunately, it did not yield any success.

As a result, in 2012, the film underwent reshoots, additional scenes were incorporated, and it was rebranded as “Soldiers.” In 2014, a new version called “Full Love” was shown during a distributor screening at the Shanghai International Film Festival. In 2018, Jean-Claude Van Damme made another effort to secure a theatrical distributor at the Cannes Film Festival, which also proved unsuccessful.

In 2020, the film underwent another round of editing and received the title Frenchy, but it remains in search of a distributor. The film Jean-Claude Van Damme also features two of his children, Kristopher Van Varenberg and Bianca Bree.