Have you ever wondered how Matt LeBlanc earned the role of a lifetime as Joey Tribbiani on Friends? He played the hilarious, ambitious actor for ten years, from the show’s 1994 premiere to its 2004 finale. When he went to his very first audition for the part, he only had $9 in his bank account; today, he is worth $120 million.
According to Matthew Perry’s memoirs Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Matt LeBlanc discovered how to play Joey from a conversation he had with Courteney Cox.
Matt LeBlanc struggled to develop the part because he was worried that his character trait was of the type of excellent, macho, ladies’ guy in the screenplay. The women on the show wouldn’t be friends with him or like him that much.
He was the only character on the program that needed to be better defined. He was portrayed as an excellent, unemployed actor in the vein of Al Pacino, so he was acting that way, but it still needed to be fixed, writes Perry.
Courteney Cox Major Advice to Matt LeBlanc
Matt LeBlanc’s dumb moment came when Monica asked him, “have you ever thought about being there for her in the Season one Finale?” and Joey simply doesn’t understand the concept. That was when he turned from a ladies’ man to a lovely, hopeless, dumb character.
Perry asserts that following the birth of the Joey we know and love today, LeBlanc would ask him for help with his lines. But by season 10, his capability to remember the lines was improved so much that it was Perry who would walk into his room and ask him if he would deliver some of his lines.
Matt ultimately garnered three Golden Globe nods and three Emmy nominations for his work on Friends.
LeBlanc thought back on Joey’s intellect in the years following the program. “For me, he was never ‘stupid’; he was always just wrong, in my opinion. He had a parallel universe-style stream of reasoning of his own.”