Matt LeBlanc wanted to stop Schwimmer getting Episodes role

Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc has joked he accepted the lead role in comedy series 'Episodes' to stop his former 'Friends' co-star David Schwimmer from being cast.

Matt LeBlanc took on the lead role in 'Episodes' to stop David Schwimmer getting it.

The 46-year-old actor portrays a fictional version of himself in the comedy series - which is written by 'Friends' creator David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik - and he has joked he decided to accept the part so Crane didn't get his friend and former co-star Schwimmer instead.

Recalling when he was approached about the project, LeBlanc said: "I was at home and trying to reassemble my normal life (after 'Friends') and Jeffrey Klarik and David Crane called me and he said, 'I've got an idea.' Obviously I'd had a great experience with David. We got together for lunch and they pitched me the whole first season with nothing written on paper just off the top of their head , usually you have a pilot idea. They went through it ... and at the end it was a high five moment. I said, 'That sounds awesome.' My only reservation was that it was me playing myself, that seems a little strange I don't feel comfortable with that. They said, 'It's not a documentary, it's a scripted character anything you don't like we can lose.' It's kind of loosely based on me but it's really the public's perception of a celebrity ... To get to work with David again and Jeffrey was too good an opportunity. I was almost like, 'Gosh, if I don't say yes, they'll go to Schwimmer. I can't let him have it!'

LeBlanc admits it could be easy to be offended by at the jokes that are aimed at him in the series - which also stars Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig - but he always reminds himself that he's just playing a character that shares his name.

During an appearance on 'This Morning' today (08.05.14), LeBlanc said: "Quite often I'm the brunt of the joke and they take pot shots at me but I don't look at it that they're taking shots at me, they're taking shots at that character in the show. To me I have to look at it as a fictitious character."


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