Paul Stevens (Bruce Willis) — Elizabeth's eccentric father, who takes an instant dislike to Ross when he sees how much older Ross is than his daughter while he's in a relationship with her, and Ross' attempts to impress him only succed in bemusing both him and Elizabeth. Paul eventually threatens to have Ross sacked from the university unless he ends his relationship with his daughter, as Elizabeth is a student at the university, and Ross will be sacked if it emerges that he's in a relationship with one of his students. After she joins him for dinner to talk up Ross's good side, he and Rachel start dating, making him somewhat of a hypocrite as he is considerably older than she is. They go away to Paul's country cabin in "The One Where Paul's the Man", where Ross and Elizabeth have also gone. While hiding under the bed, Ross sees Paul talking to himself in the mirror and singing, and implies he will inform Rachel of this if Paul lets the university know about the relationship or continues trying to interfere with it.[e 97] Paul agrees out of embarrasement and fear but still shows a grudge towards Ross in "The One with the Ring". Rachel informs Phoebe that as much as she likes Paul she feels he is too secretive for her liking, and decides to attempt to get him to open up emotionally, but she does too good a job when in the midst of conjuring up his past memories of his unhappy childhood with her he starts crying and won't stop. When Chandler walks into the room, Paul asks him if his father ever hugged him, causing Chandler to reply "Did he ever hug you?" much to Paul's irritation and bemusement. However, he still asks Chandler to hold him, and then when Joey walks into the room, Paul runs over to him and lifts him off of the floor while hugging him, too. Eventually pulling himself together, Paul apoligizes to Rachel for overhwelming her so much with all his crying, and they make up and have sex. But afterwards, he can't keep himself together and starts bawling again, so Rachel dumps him.[e 98]
Bruce Willis donated his appearance fee to five charities after losing a bet with his The Whole Nine Yards co-star Matthew Perry. He won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role.