Although it's not up there with the episode where Joey and Chandler find the free porn channel in terms of how dated it is, the episode with Jean-Claude Van Damme definitely puts years on 'Friends'.
For one, Van Damme hasn't really been in anything worth watching in years. (Or maybe never, we hear you say.) On top of that, a new oral history of that very episode makes him out to be a complete and total asshole.
THR's lengthy feature about the episode makes it seem like Van Damme was, quite honestly, a nightmare to deal with. Though, it must be said, he hasn't had a chance to defend himself and this was something like twenty years ago.
However, the examples given by those in the feature are pretty clear, including trying to figure out who was more difficult - the monkey or Van Damme. "I think that when Jean-Claude showed up, he asked through his manager or some other person who came to the set with him for Cocoa Puffs. I believe a P.A. ran out and got them," said Mike Sikowitz, the episode's writer.
It didn't just end with asking for god-tier cereal, either. The director of the two-parter, Michael Lembeck, explained that Van Damme was getting a little bit mouthy... with Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox. In a different way.
"We shoot him and Jennifer (Aniston) first. Then she walks over to me and says, “Lem, Lem, would you do me a favor and ask him not to put his tongue in my mouth when he’s kissing me?” I tell him everything is great but it’s a tight shot so maybe let’s not do that," Lembeck explains.
"Then we’re shooting a scene later with Courteney. Here comes Courteney walking toward me and saying, “Lem, can you please tell him not to put his tongue in my mouth?” I couldn’t believe it! I had to tell him again, but a little firmer."