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Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc si prepara per la fine di "Friends"

Articolo di Mike Szymanski

LOS ANGELES - Despite recent coy remarks made to the press by some cast members that just maybe this won't be the last season of NBC's hit comedy "Friends," actor Matt LeBlanc says this is indeed it.

"I had a lot of laughs every day there, and it's a group of people who have become good friends and they all good things must come to an end, and it looks like this will be the end," LeBlanc tells Zap2it. "I think everyone's decided that this would be it, it's over."

While he's sad to see it go, the actor is busy lining up work even before his schedule officially clears up. Currently, he's promoting the small film "All the Queen's Men" where he plays part of a motley crew of spies who dress up as women to go undercover to smuggle out a Nazi de-coding machine in WWII. Co-starring Eddie Izzard and Udo Kier, the $10 million film took 11 weeks to make, and LeBlanc was paid less than half of his roughly $1-million-per-episode fee that he currently commands.

To accommodate his schedule on "Friends," he took a red-eye from Los Angeles on weekends to fly to Europe and drive to sets in Budapest and Vienna, then turn around a few days later and fly back.

LeBlanc acknowledges he's doing movies such as "Queen's Men" and the "Charlie's Angels" sequel, as well as "Broad Daylight," to prepare for his career beyond television, but he still has a vested interest in the characters in the show.

For example, he balked about the love triangle that brought a big dynamic into the show last season.

"The whole cast was dead set against that, saying it was totally inappropriate, but then [creator] David Crane said it was very scary and that's why we should do it," LeBlanc admits. "It was a very carefully walked path, and they wrote it brilliantly, so I'm really proud of the way it came out."

LeBlanc laughs that his latest film's producer Marco Weber only knew him from playing Major Don West in the film version of "Lost in Space" and not from his hit TV show, so he had to audition for the part much like his character Joey does for acting roles in the series.

"I know Joey better than anyone," says LeBlanc, "But I don't have as much of that wild energy as he has, I have to pump myself with a bunch of coffee to play him. I'll miss that, but my body won't."

Rumors have floated for months that LeBlanc's "Friends'" character would be a natural for a potential spin-off series. The idea appeals to the actor, who is planning on marrying his longtime girlfriend Melissa McKnight in the near future.

"If it was done correctly and the idea was right, and I trusted the writers and the people running the show, the show runners, absolutely I would consider it," says LeBlanc. "It allows me to have dinner with my family every night, it allows me to sleep in my own bed every night, I can see my dogs, I can drive my own car. You have some semblance of a real life."

"I would say I would seriously consider it, a sitcom schedule is pretty nice."

(14 ottobre 2002 - ZAP2IT.COM)

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