'FRIENDS? I NEED A GOOD WOMAN!' TV Sitcom Star David Schwimmer Has Found Stardom - but Finding a Girlfriend Is Proving Much Harder, as JILLY BEATTIE Discovered

By Beattie, Jilly | The People (London, England), August 18, 1996 | Go to article overview

'FRIENDS? I NEED A GOOD WOMAN!' TV Sitcom Star David Schwimmer Has Found Stardom - but Finding a Girlfriend Is Proving Much Harder, as JILLY BEATTIE Discovered


Beattie, Jilly, The People (London, England)


oft chocolate brown eyes, sleek black hair and hang-dog looks. No it's not the new Andrex puppy - but America's latest sex symbol, Friends star David Schwimmer.

The 29-year-old actor is fast becoming a firm favourite with British girls too as they tune in to the trendy Friday night series.

And news that he's young, free and single will have thousands more panting into their TV guides to highlight his latest appearance.

But his handsome good looks, sitcom status and a successful first film, The Pallbearer, haven't helped him get a girl. In fact, he says it's been impossible to meet the girl of his dreams since splitting with lawyer Sarah Trimble six months ago.

Schwimmer said: "I was with Sarah for two-and-a-half years and she really helped keep my feet on the floor while Hollywood was raving about Friends.

"Our relationship was really important to me. In Los Angeles, where everybody is telling you how brilliant they are, it's really important to have someone like Sarah who is not infatuated by the Hollywood thing.

"She supported me in my work for a long time, helped my confidence when it was knocked and put me in my place if I ever got a bit big for my boots.

"I really need a girlfriend like Sarah, someone who has a good head on her shoulders - but we split up in January when she moved to Los Angeles from Louisiana. Now I'm on my own.

"I am a bit of a workaholic and I suppose that attitude was partly to blame for the split - and I do miss dating someone I really trusted."

So for the first time in three years Schwimmer is dating again and it's not a prospect he relishes. He said: "It feels really strange. When you've been comfortable with someone for a long time it seems strange and a bit awkward to make those first phone calls and set up dates.

"I feel like a teenager again - all gawky and stupid.

"I guess I'm approached by more women now because they know my face. But being a bit famous doesn't change the problems of trying to find someone you can really talk to and have a relationship with. In fact it makes it more difficult.

"When all the time the right person doesn't show up I keep telling myself that I haven't got enough time for a relationship. It's partly true, but it doesn't stop me wanting to meet a girl pretty badly.

"It's very frustrating, but I just have to think - maybe it's not going to happen this month, but there's always next month."

And his on-screen love life doesn't seem to fare much better. Schwimmer's neurotic character Ross Geller in Friends has suffered a long-term infatuation with Rachel, played by Jennifer Anniston. But when she finally falls for him he has moved on to fresh fields.

Then in The Pallbearer, Schwimmer lusts after Gwyneth Paltrow, Brad Pitt's real-life fiancee - but when he meets her he turns into a bumbling wreck.

But fans searching for a smooth-talking, fast-moving version of Ross will be disappointed in the real David Schwimmer because he claims that he is just like Ross off screen.

He said: "My character is like a brown suit while the rest of the world is wearing smooth-looking tuxedos.

"To be honest I've tried the tuxedo in real life and I like the brown suit much better.

"I can be shy and a bit awkward and I'm not enamoured by the whole Hollywood star thing."

Despite his reservations about fame Schwimmer is hot in Hollywood terms. He has a three-year contract with Friends and a multi-million dollar deal with Miramax films which will see him directing his first movie, Stepping In The Dogwater, later this summer. …

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