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Emmys: Matt LeBlanc's seen it all before -- and he's just as thrilled this time around

July 14, 2011 |  9:05 am

Matt LaBlanc
Matt LeBlanc has had a career of ups and downs. You can't ride much higher than he did with the hit series "Friends." But his follow up series, "Joey," took him to some pretty low lows. Now, with Showtime's "Episodes," in which he plays a comic version of himself, Le Blanc has found a whole new fan base -- and critical respect. He received a lead actor in a comedy Emmy nomination this morning.

How’s your morning?

I would say it’s pretty darn busy. I got a very interesting phone call at 5:30 a.m. -- when I was sound asleep.

A good phone call. Do you think this means people are finally ready to see you as Matt LeBlanc and not totally as just Joey?

God, I hope not. I love that guy. He gave me the greatest 10 years of my life. It’s just a new chapter now. This nomination, it’s a huge honor. It’s very validating. The fact that it was nominated in writing as well is the best news of all. I’m really proud of the writing on this show. It makes what we do easier.

Have you talked to anyone from the show? Have your co-stars called?

No. They’re probably bitter and angry. I’ll call them and rub it in. They’re all in London.

What did you find most challenging about the character — is it hard playing an exaggerated you?

The most challenging part was to not laugh while shooting. It was so cleverly written. To be able to lay down exposition that is just so thoroughly funny, it’s a complex task.  One of my favorite scenes was that thing with the cologne. It was a very silly joke but was used as a catalyst for telling Stephen’s character [Sean Lincoln] that I slept with his wife. But it starts as a really silly joke. I don’t know. They just have this way of writing.

And are you nervous at all? This whole Emmy thing is nothing new for you.

Yeah, I know all about this thing. I’m familiar with not winning. If I don’t win,  you’ll find me out at the bar. But, really, just to be nominated -- I know everyone says that — but it really is a validating thing. I took five years off and to come back to this project and for it to be recognized is a blessing. I really have a good time. I love every scene. It's great to be part of something like this.


Emmys: Best comedy nominees

Emmys: Comedy actor, actress nominees

Complete list of 2011 Emmy Awards nominees

 -- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Matt LaBlanc, star of the Showtime comedy "Episodes." Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times