‘Friends‘was an idea of David crane Y Marta Kauffman that NBC aired from 1994 to 2004. With ten seasons and 235 episodes, it had one of its fundamental successes in the good choice of its main cast. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney cox, Lisa kudrow, Matthew perry, David schwimmer and, of course, our protagonists of today, Matt LeBlanc, they are the personal friends of unconditional fans who continue to devour endless marathons, they sing ‘Smelly cat‘, they play’Duped‘and they have a cup from Central Perk, a coffee shop that doesn’t exist.
In its latest episode, 50 million people gathered in front of the television to see their friends farewell and, seventeen years after that (and twenty-seven of the pilot episode), ‘Friends: The Reunion‘ has become the event of the year for its true acolytes. It premiered on May 27 on HBO Max and was a nostalgic event to remember the best moments of an iconic series. When it all started, Aniston (the youngest) was 25 and Kudrow (the oldest) 31. Ten years later, between the ages of 35 and 41, it was difficult for them to continue sharing a flat with colleagues. It wasn’t the Spain of 2021. “Everyone was growing up,” says Kauffman. “It’s part of the reason the show had to end. This was no longer that time in your life where your friends are your family. You are starting your own family. ” Although some have ended up doing better than others, in 2004 these six interpreters were the kings of the world.
And what happened to LeBlanc? The problem is not that Joey Tribbiani has reached middle age, the drama is that we too are 17 years older than when we stopped seeing the most charismatic character in Matt LeBlanc. And that’s why we look back to remember the funniest (and also pathetic) curiosities of the actor.
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1 Vince Vaughn wanted to be Joey
The sextet made up of ‘Friends’ actors will go down in history as one of the biggest casting successes on television. We can no longer imagine Courteney Cox as Rachel (the role she auditioned for) or another actor playing Joey Tribbiani … although in her day the casting director Ellie janner had to decide between Matt LeBlanc and Vince Vaughn, an actor with more experience and more name in Hollywood for those dates. Finally, it was decided to discover new faces like Matt’s and turn them into real stars.
2 11 dollars in your pocket
“It was my fourth television series and the other three had failed. I had exactly $ 11 in my pocket when I was hired”. This is how Matt LeBlanc defined his financial status before being signed by ‘Friends’. Matt had appeared in ‘TV 101’, ‘Top of the Heap’ and ‘Vinnie & Bobby’ and in episodes of ‘Married with children’ or ‘We are ten’.
3 Coca Cola Boy
And Levi’s, Doritos, Milky Way, Heinz … we have not gone crazy and we have been confused with the shopping list. Matt LeBlanc made his debut in front of the cameras as an actor in commercials and even on ‘Friends’ they made some allusion to it. Do you want to see how he did it?
4 Matt sometimes fucks up like Joey
There is a chapter of ‘Friends’ in which Joey has to choose between his two great passions, food and women, and ends up screaming nervously: “Someone bring me a woman sandwich!”. It was clear that Joey is quite a womanizer with a great sense of humor but Matt is not forgiven for the same kinds of jokes. When asked on the Emmys red carpet if he was watching ‘Game of Thrones’, the actor spoke mischievously about Emilia Clarke. “I saw the first season and then I kind of stopped following it,” he commented to the actor. “And I think it was right there when she started getting naked, so I think I have to catch up.” The comment was perhaps not the most fortunate, clearly, but also you have to know that the relationship between Emilia and Matt is very good and that Clarke herself confessed on the Graham Norton show that she was completely taken with Joey from ‘Friends’.
5 Very cute but little cinema
The image belongs to ‘Ed, the chimpanzee’ (1996). LeBlanc has not had the same luck as other of his peers (such as Jennifer Aniston or Matthew Perry) and has hardly worked in the cinema. ‘Los Angeles de Charlie’ (2000), its sequel in 2003 and the romantic comedy ‘Loco de amor’ (2014) are his latest interventions. Luckily the small screen adores him.
6 Joey’s Wives
Matt LeBlanc became one of the highest paid actors on television and a true golden bachelor who was linked to artists such as Alanis Morissette or his co-star Lisa kudrow. Neither one nor the other, the woman who led him to the altar was Melissa mcknight, former model who had two children from her previous marriage to the musician Anthony Esposito. With her he had Marina, born in 2004, his only daughter who was diagnosed shortly after birth with cortical dysplasia, a congenital disease that affects the brain and psychomotor skills. The marriage announced their breakup in June 2005 after Matt LeBlanc admitted behavior “careless and irresponsible” with a stripper during a trip to Canada. In 2006, Matt LeBlanc began dating Andrea Anders, Alex Garrett in ‘Joey’, curiously also Matthew Perry’s girlfriend in ‘Mr. Sunshine ‘. The relationship ended in 2015 and at the moment no love relationship is known.
7 Joey won the Golden Globe for playing Matt LeBlanc
For many it was a surprise, not only because he won the award but because not even many knew that he was still in the world of acting. The 2012 Golden Globes awarded Matt LeBlanc for a character so similar to him that he is himself. In ‘Episodies’ Matt plays himself in his post-Joey stage, when two British screenwriters want to do a series in the US and they have to work with him. Curiously, Matt never won the Golden Globe as Joey (although he did many other awards) but they are his improved version: “Thanks to the writers who, let’s be honest, have written a much more interesting Matt LeBlanc than I can be in real life.”, he assured in his speech, already with the award in his hands.
8 TV host
As a young man he wanted to be a stunt pilot but his mother did not like at all when her child was exposed to danger. His love of motoring remained intact and he is now the co-host of the BBC show ‘Top Gear’. “I am honored and excited to be part of the new chapter of this iconic program,” said the interpreter after announcing his signing, the first non-British to take the wheel of the program in its 39-year history.
9 ‘A man. A plan’
Matt LeBlanc had another new comedy on CBS. In ‘Man with a plan’ he plays a bricklayer who decides to stay home and take care of his children while his wife returns to her job. Classic, family comedy, to enjoy a more mature Matt but with the same essence.
10 Forever Joey
“It’s impossible to separate from Joey”, said Matt LeBlanc in the presentation of his new series. “Friends set a very high bar in terms of pressure for the actors who were in it. I feel pressure for everything I do, so I’m used to it.” When Central Perk closed they had an adaptation period where not all the actors had a good time. “For years and years I hardly left the house. It was burned. I wanted to have no commitments and to be nowhere. And he was in a position to do it. My agent was upset. Most actors call their agents and ask what they have for them now. I called mine and told him to lose my number for a few years. It was a dark time. I almost had a nervous breakdown, “Matt LeBlanc explained to ‘The Mirror.’
11 Iconic to the End
Of course, Matt LeBlanc did not miss the highly anticipated reunion of ‘Friends’ on HBO Max on May 27, alongside his co-stars (and friends) Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. They had a great time, but Twitter showed us that fans are still in love with Joey like the first day and that his gestures were the most iconic of this special episode. Whether it was crossing his arms like an old man or puffing out his chest while the audience applauded, it was a constant meme (in the best of senses) and it showed why we still love him. Long live Matt LeBlanc!
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