Matt LeBlanc wanted to stop Schwimmer getting Episodes role

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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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