Since his days as a star on the sitcom “Friends,” Matt LeBlanc has become an actor skilled at playing the lovable and goofy Joey Tribbiani. After LeBlanc’s time on “Friends” ended in 2004, he went on to host his show, “Joey,” which was heavily panned by critics and was ever-so-briefly brought back to life with a shorter title for one more season that didn’t air until 2008. Though this wasn’t nearly as successful as “Friends,” it showed that not only could LeBlanc play a comical character well, but he could also be the face of comedic TV shows.
Since 2009, LeBlanc has gone down a different path, starring on the critically acclaimed British sitcom “Episodes” as Matt LeBlanc playing an exaggerated version of himself. Instead of this being a source of embarrassment for him, he plays along with it and usually makes fun of himself. This new character that LeBlanc has taken on is admired by critics and fans alike because he brings the same heart to this new role that Joey Tribbiani had but brings some self-awareness to the table.
LeBlanc’s career post-“Friends” can be considered very successful, although not nearly as successful as his days playing one of the most iconic characters in history. He has come back full circle to where he started: playing different versions of himself. Even though he is usually playing a comical version of the self, he has shown that he can transcend genres to whatever show best fits his talents. LeBlanc’s career could be considered to have come full circle in many ways because he went from playing one character who was mostly himself to being able to play any role well and seamlessly blend into different shows.
To get to know more about your favorite actor, here are 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Matt LeBlanc:
# 1 – He was a professional model before he turned to acting.
LeBlanc modeled in several print ads and commercials, including one for Matchbox cars when he was eleven. At the age of 17, LeBlanc decided to move to New York to pursue his modeling career. Unfortunately, he was turned down based on being too short to fit in the industry.
# 2 – He loves art
Between takes of filming NBC’s sitcom “Friends,” Matt LeBlanc would often visit museums and galleries to enjoy quiet time alone amidst all the noisy production around him on set. This is because he is interested in works of art and admires artists such as Salvador Dali.
# 3 – He Loves riding and restoring bikes
Matt LeBlanc lives for his motorcycle, revealing that it’s his biggest passion next to acting. Being raised in America, many may associate motorcycles with the Harley Davidson brand. Still, Matt prefers Honda motorcycles which he has been riding since 1986 when he was just sixteen years old and living in Los Angeles. His love for motorbikes only grew stronger after appearing alongside 18 other celebrities on BBC’s Top Gear in 2012, where they competed against each other in “Star In A Reasonably Priced Car.” Living up to his reputation as a thrill-seeker, Matt LeBlanc impressed everyone by not only being the fastest in going round the track but also looked very cool while wearing a full-face helmet.
# 4 – His favorite foods are pasta e Fagioli and tortellini with pesto sauce
This is something that audiences can expect when watching Matt LeBlanc on his new Showtime series, Episodes, where he plays an arrogant character who loves to eat anything with carbs, especially Italian food, prepared for him by a personal chef played by Stephen Mangan. Matt follows a simple diet consisting of healthy food such as salads and lean meat in real life. He isn’t vegan or vegetarian due to his love for dairy products but tries not to overindulge in them in favor of eating more vegetables instead.
# 5 – He Used to Work at AT&T
During his early twenties, Matt worked for AT&T until he decided to move to Hollywood to chase his dreams of being an actor. He was always interested in acting growing up, and he would often watch old episodes of The Ed Sullivan Show for inspiration, where he came across the Three Stooges. They became a major influence on him as a person.
# 6 – He’s great with accents
Like many other actors known for popularizing certain characters that they have played on screen, Matt LeBlanc is popularly associated with his character Joey Tribbiani from Friends due to how convincing he was while playing the Italian-American actor struggling food service employee despite having an American accent. This talent was demonstrated when Matt hosted Saturday Night Live back in 2003, where he played Mick Jagger in a parody of rock star movies and Patrick Swayze from the movie Ghost. He is such a good mimic that he earned praise from his fellow “Friends” stars for doing convincing impressions of all of them, including Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer.
# 7 – His favorite character to play was Vinnie Verducci
In an interview with Adam Carolla on “The Adam Carolla Show,” Matt LeBlanc shared that he enjoyed playing his character Vinnie Verducci most out of all the characters he has ever performed because it allowed him to be cocky and arrogant while still coming off as likable at times. Vinnie appeared in the American sitcom “Top Of The Heap” and was described as a struggling actor eager to make his big break into stardom. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after the show ended that Matt LeBlanc got his big break on Friends, which earned him international fame.
# 8 – Matt LeBlanc starred alongside Jennifer Aniston for ten years before they met.
Because things were so hectic during filming and because their characters didn’t interact with one another very often, Matt and Jennifer Aniston never had an opportunity to meet at the beginning of the show. They finally met at a Christmas party thrown by Kevin Bright, one of the Friends’ producers.
# 9 – He Was Once Rumoured to be Playing James Bond
Matt LeBlanc once auditioned for the role of James Bond during the ’90s after producers decided Pierce Brosnan wasn’t edgy enough. He didn’t get the part, though, and it went to Daniel Craig instead in 2006, with reports suggesting that his American accent may have put off producers at Eon Productions.
Before he landed Joey Tribbiani in Friends in 1994, another rumor had suggested that Matt was going to play Alan Partridge when they were casting around ideas for a Radio Norwich show in 1991 before Steve Coogan signed up.
# 10 – He Was Once Involved in a Car Accident With Bruce Willis
The Die Hard actor was driving with Matt when they got into an accident after another car turned left in front of them. Luckily, Matt wasn’t injured, but it seems that Bruce was quite shaken up by the experience, which made him much more cautious about accepting roles – especially if they involved dangerous stunts or action scenes.
However, Matt LeBlanc’s most dangerous moment came from a skiing accident. In 1995, Matt suffered a broken leg after he ran into a tree while skiing in Utah.
Matt LeBlanc is a brilliant actor and comedian who has been entertaining audiences for over 20 years. His success in Hollywood spans from being an original cast member on Friends to winning two Golden Globe awards. He’ll always be Joey Tribbiani.