Audience: How did it all start for you, before you became the famous Joey Tribbiani?
Matt LeBlanc: I was born and raised in Newton, a small town in Massachusetts. At home, the star system, the red carpets, the sequins, it did not make you fantasize. For us, being successful was passing your baccalaureate and then embarking on a business with a rather manual vocation. Me, I had to study construction, construction.
So you didn’t want to become an actor…
When I was working weekends at a carpenter and had to drive nails without gloves in the middle of winter, I would ask myself questions like: “Are there no other options?” It was at this point that a friend introduced me to an actor friend, who made me arranged a meeting with his agent in New York. So I shot my first commercials, then I took acting lessons. There, I understood that this job was made for me.
“Nevertheless, we continue to s ‘texting and calling each other ”
What lessons do you have from your education?
I come from a family of workers, very down to earth. My paternal grandfather gave me two pieces of advice: “When you put on your pants, it doesn’t matter whether you start with the left leg or the right leg. The main thing is that you do not try to put on both legs at the same time because, in the end, you risk breaking your mouth “. The other advice was : “Buy yourself land as soon as you have the chance!” I followed both to the letter .
“Some fans talk to me like I’m stupid.”
Many fans, because of the role of Joey, have long believed that you were a little short of spirit. How did you experience that?
Good! It’s even a kind of advantage. Sometimes I ran into people who spoke to me softly, making the words stand out well because, like Joey, they thought I wasn’t getting it right. I loved to answer them with a well-evolved vocabulary. You had to see their faces. They were stuck.
When you watch an episode of Friends, you get the impression that you and the other stars don’t sprain yourself too much …
It is a compliment ! It proves that we were natural. However, we must not believe that we do not work. On Monday, we read the script with the writers and producers. The next day, we started rehearsing and then, the following days, we were in the shooting conditions. On Friday, we played in front of an audience and on weekends, we spent it resting as our week was exhausting.
What are you offered with your first stamps? You previously told us about the importance of investing in land. Is this really your first acquisition when Friends made you a millionaire?
I did pay for my ranch and also invested in a huge grill to cook steaks! Then I bought 130 cows and six horses, a fallow deer, hens and wild pigs. But with my first million dollars from Friends, I bought myself a Porsche and … a bulldozer.
“At one time, I was a recluse”
The starification Isn’t that too hard?
When Friends became America’s most viewed sitcom, I was almost a recluse. I see myself buying fruit and veg in a supermarket and hearing someone shout: “Look, it’s Joey!” All eyes were then on me, as if I had just stolen a kilo of kiwi fruit!
And your young girl, what does it think of having a famous daddy?
Sometimes it’s a nuisance because the fans approach in the street and she doesn’t really want me to waste my time with them. But sometimes it also derives certain advantages from it. Like, for example, getting well-located tickets to attend a Lady Gaga concert!
What’s the worst ordeal you’ve ever had to face?
When my daughter was younger, it was discovered that a disease could damage her brain, bones and motor skills. It was a very dark time in my life because it touched the flesh of my flesh, the person I loved most in the world. Fortunately, we avoided the worst.
What’s your passion, Matt?
Cars. I own eighteen in total, a lot of Porsches and Mercedes but also a lot of old machines.
And your pleasures?
To spend time with my friends. Watch a good series while drinking a cold beer in the summer or a hot cup of coffee in the winter. Spending time on my ranch in Santa Barbara. One day, I will retire there at 100%. There is always something to do, a door to repair, a horse to heal. At the end of the day my hands are bleeding and mud all over my clothes …
For all these years, have you been- you kept in touch with Jennifer, Matthew and Co?
Our roads have parted. Not because we no longer wanted to see each other but quite simply because we no longer lived in the same city or in the same state. But when we meet again, it is always with joy. I’m not saying we always have barbecues, but we talk to each other on the phone, we text each other. The link has never been broken.
Key dates 25 July 1967 Born in Massachusetts , a mechanic father of Canadian origin and a secretary mother of Italian origin.
1987 He began his career as an actor in commercials for Heinz, Coca-Cola, Levi’s 100 or Doritos. Then he turns in music videos.
He lands the role of Joey in Friends. After an empty passage following the stopping of the series in 2004, it returns to 2010 with Episodes and receives a Golden Globe.
February 8 2004 This is the birth of his only child, Marina Pearl, to whom he remains extremely close despite the divorce with his mother in 2004, due to infidelity.
See also: Zapping: Jennifer Aniston breaks Instagram with her Friends selfie
Interview by Frank Rousseau, our correspondent in the USA