It’s been 10 years since cultural phenomenon Friends wrapped, Matt LeBlanc is still capable of generating headlines - most recently when he was papped at an unflattering angle on a night out in London.
“They said I’m going bald. It was like, ‘Awesome, you gotta write something bad’,” says the actor, who retains the good looks that made him a pin-up, even if his now-silver hair is less thick than two decades ago.
“It’s like, ‘Come on, you can’t say something nice?’ But I guess it’s dirty laundry, right? That’s what people want to read about.”
The dad-of-one adds: “I’m 46. You can’t fight Mother Nature.”
LeBlanc isn’t precious enough to complain for long about the intrusion into his private life. Nor does he mind fans greeting him with Joey’s catchphrase, ‘How you doin’?’ In fact, he decided to play on the public’s perception and poke fun at his image by signing up for TV comedy Episodes, in which he plays an egotistical, manipulative version of himself.
He did have some initial misgivings - “I wasn’t sure about exposing my life” - but the bold move paid off.
The BBC Two sitcom - which is written by Friends co-creator David Crane and his partner Jeffrey Klarik - is now entering its third series, and has earned LeBlanc a Golden Globe for his deliciously self-centred performance.
The show also stars British actors Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig as Sean and Beverly, a husband and wife who have decamped to Los Angeles to write the scripts for a LeBlanc sitcom.
Not much is off-limits. In series one, Matt slept with Beverly.
In series two, he had a one-night stand with a stalker and an affair with his network executive’s wife.
And in the first episode of series three, we see him arrested for drink-driving with his (fictional) kids in the back seat.
LeBlanc won’t reveal how many of his real traits are reflected in his Episodes character, preferring to “leave it as a mystery”.
But the pair seem fairly different (thankfully!).