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Read EW's 2002 interview with Matt LeBlanc

Exclusive photos of Matt LeBlanc — Plus, the ”Friends” star tells who he’s rooting for in the Rachel love triangle and more, in an excerpt from the May 3, 2002, cover story of Entertainment Weekly magazine

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Matt LeBlanc
Matt LeBlanc Photograph by Robert Trachtenberg

This was the year for Matt LeBlanc to shine on ”Friends.” But was it a bit frustrating having to wait so long for a juicy arc like the Joey-Rachel-Ross love triangle?
No. I’m perfectly content to be just a part of the group, in the background, come in with the big funny, support the stories…. This thing with Rachel was just — I mean, it threw a ripple down the core of the show because it was really risky: ”What do you mean he’s in love with Rachel? Hey, whoa. Wait a minute. That’s inappropriate behavior, Joe. Put your d— away.”… That story line enabled me to show this new dimension of Joey that I was really reluctant to show.

Why were you reluctant?
Because I’m his biggest fan. I feel like I have his back, you know what I mean? To see him sad and get his heart broken, I don’t want to do that. I reluctantly went out on stage and did my job those nights.