Schwimmer, 54, was quick to complain about his on-set experiences with Marcel during the recent
But while his comments prompted plenty of laughs on the HBO Max special, they have come under furious criticism from professional monkey trainer Mike Morris, 53, who has now clapped back at New York-based star Schwimmer, insisting that he is just ‘jealous’ of Marcel’s on-screen success.
Controversy: David Schwimmer has come under furious criticism from the monkey trainer who looked after his capuchin Friends co-star after the actor said he hated working with the animal
Upset: Monkey trainer Mike Morris has branded Schwimmer, 54, as ‘despicable’ and ‘jealous’ for complaining about primate character Marcel during the Friends reunion on HBO Max
‘Schwimmer was fine with the monkeys for the first couple of episodes and happy to be there,’ Morris told
‘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.’
The animal trainer said that Schwimmer’s dislike of the monkey ‘made it harder’ for everyone on-set, claiming that the actor wasn’t ‘very helpful’ when it came to filming scenes with the primate – which were already tricky to do because of the complex nature of a five-star cast and all that is involved in shooting that kind of show.
‘Schwimmer wouldn’t prep with her, he didn’t want to rehearse with her,’ Morris continued – explaining that the monkey was therefore left to prepare for scenes by herself, which made things all the more difficult when they went to try for a take.
According to Morris, Schwimmer was the only actor who ever had an issue with the primates, with the trainer insisting that his animals worked perfectly with the actor’s co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc.
During HBO Max’s Friends reunion, Jennifer, 52, did attempt to defend the monkey against Schwimmer’s comments, telling host James Corden that she ‘loved’ working with the primate.
Schwimmer, on the other hand, couldn’t have been clearer about his dislike for his capuchin co-star, telling the reunion’s live audience that he was thrilled when the producers decided to axe Marcel’s character from the show.
Awkward: Schwimmer told reunion host James Corden that the monkey – whose real name is Katie – would ‘mess up scenes’ and get live grubs in his hair and on his face
Defense: During the reunion, Jennifer Aniston said she ‘loved’ working with the monkey – and Morris claims Schwimmer was the only actor who ever had an issue with the primate
‘The monkey would mess up scenes and when it didn’t do its job right, we would have to go again over and over,’ he continued, venting his frustration over being told: ‘The monkey didn’t hit its mark, I’m sorry.’
He added: ‘That combined with the trainer giving the monkey live grubs to eat. He would eat in and I would have monkey grub hands all over my face.
”It was time to… it was time for Marcel to f**k off!’
According to monkey trainer Morris, the reunion show did not mark the first time that Schwimmer had criticized Marcel, with the animal expert claiming that the actor had previously accused the primate of throwing poop on-set and trying to bite him.
‘I have never ever watched Friends because of Schwimmer’s comments about the monkeys,’ he said. ‘I have refused to ever since he did an interview after the animals got written out of the show and he said they tried to bite him and throw poop at him.’
Morris suggested that Schwimmer’s previous allegations about the monkeys were false, adding that ‘none of that every happened’ when he was present on-set.
During the first season of the hit series Friends, Marcel was actually played by two different monkeys, Katie, now 30, and Monkey, who passed away from cancer last year at the age of 36.
Their trainer accused Schwimmer of dishonoring the memory of the late primate by complaining about the monkeys’ behavior on the reunion – a move that he labeled ‘despicable’.
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