He was a good friend — but not a fit for the “Family.”
Actor Matt LeBlanc — who starred as Joey Tribbiani on “Friends” — says he was offered the chance to play Phil Dunphy on another beloved sitcom, “Modern Family,” but ultimately turned it down because he didn’t believe he was the right man for the role.
“I remember reading it thinking, this is a really good script, (but) I’m not the guy for this,” LeBlanc told USA Today. “I’d be doing the project an injustice to take this. I know what I can do, I know what I can’t do.”
The role ended up going to Ty Burrell, who has delighted audiences for eight seasons to date with his goofy and cheesy portrayal of the loveable character.
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Burrell’s performance on the series has twice netted him the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series — first in 2011 and again in 2014.
Dunphy — a devoted husband and father of three — would’ve been a notably different type of character for LeBlanc than Joey, a delightfully funny bachelor, was on “Friends.”
LeBlanc earned three nominations for his performance on the NBC show, which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004. He and his “Friends” co-stars were each paid $ 1 million per episode during the show’s final two seasons.
LeBlanc told USA Today that he encouraged “Modern Family” actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays Mitchell Pritchett on the series, to “stick together” with his co-stars while negotiating salaries in an effort to maintain leverage.
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“You have to walk out, or they won’t take you seriously,” LeBlanc said. “If you stick together, you have power.”
LeBlanc currently hosts the BBC automobile program “Top Gear,” which he has since 2016.
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