Often when an actor is done playing a long-time role, they’re eager to distance themselves from a character that has defined them in the public consciousness — if only to keep themselves in the running for future roles. This hard pivot can most often be observed in actors walking away from iconic roles in iconic series. And, yes, Friends actor Matt LeBlanc fits that bill a bit. He did Episodes, a shockingly smart and very British show after retiring the lovable dimwit Joey Tribbiani. But he didn’t totally walk away from his nineties superstardom. He still watches Friends with his 12-year-old daughter, who has a lot of questions.
“It’s still on all the time so we’ll stop and watch it if we’re channel surfing and it pops up,” LeBlanc told Radio Times in a recent interview. “She loves to ask me questions about it. She’ll say: ‘Was that real? Did you really eat that? What did that taste like? Ooh, you ate that off the floor? That’s gross! You’re so funny, Dad.'”
So, yeah, he’s definitely doing it for the positive kid reinforcement. “It’s fun to sit and watch it with her,” LeBlanc added. “She used to call it The Joey Tribbiani Show – but now she knows to call it Friends.” The actor probably deserves some credit for actually correcting her when he didn’t necessarily have to do so.
LeBlanc, now a host on popular UK television show Top Gear, noted that while his daughter enjoys watching her dad on Friends, the two don’t always agree about what to watch on TV. “We don’t have the same taste in shows,” he said. “I want to catch up on the news in the mornings, while she wants to watch My Little Pony.” It’s worth pointing out that LeBlanc has an easy solution to this problem at his disposal: Get cast as a pony.