GUY DAVIS

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

WHEN pro­duc­ers ap­proached Matt LeBlanc with the idea of a lead role in Episodes, the for­mer Friends star de­cided it was time to get off the couch.

LeBlanc had been on some­thing of a sab­bat­i­cal since Friends spin-off Joey ended in 2006. He’d been of­fered projects but turned ev­ery­thing down un­til David Crane and Jef­frey Klarik— renowned for their work on Friends and Mad About You— came knock­ing.

‘‘ I had been burnt out, 12 years play­ing the same guy,’’ LeBlanc says.

‘‘ But when they told me the idea be­hind the show I thought, ‘ Get off the couch’.

‘‘ In the be­gin­ning I was a lit­tle afraid of be­ing ex­posed as the scripts hadn’t been writ­ten yet — I was pretty ner­vous about what they might be mak­ing fun of.

‘‘ Episodes takes the whole Joey per­sona that I have and meets it head on.

‘‘ It’s re­ally lib­er­at­ing. Peo­ple will come up to me and speak slowly, or they’ll ask me if I’m OK be­cause I’m a lot more low key and sub­dued than Joey Trib­biani was.

‘‘ When you get pi­geon­holed as one char­ac­ter, peo­ple tend to think, ‘ That’s all he can do’.’’

Episodes fol­lows Sean and Bev­erly (Stephen Man­gan and

Ja­son Gann as Wil­fred in the US TV se­ries of the same name. Bye Joey: Matt LeBlanc is back in Ep­siodes. Af­ter the split from part­ner Kris Smith, Dan­nii has im­mersed her­self in moth­er­hood.

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