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.