From Rags to Riches!
Life before “Friends” wasn’t a walk in the park for Matt LeBlanc. Just like his character, Joey Tribbiani, who often struggled to land acting gigs, LeBlanc also had his share of financial struggles.
Believe it or not, he had only $11 to his name when he got the call to join the cast of what would become one of the most successful sitcoms in history. Going from barely scraping by to making a cool million per episode, LeBlanc’s story is truly a tale of rags to riches.
LeBlanc’s financial difficulties led him to some rather unconventional money-saving strategies. Here’s one that might make you cringe a bit: he once did his own dental work!
As he told Conan O’Brien on his show, when LeBlanc was getting his first headshot, the photographer noticed one of his teeth was a bit longer than the rest. Getting it filed down professionally would cost $80, a hefty fee for someone with just $11 to his name.
So what did LeBlanc do? He bought a three-pack of emery boards from the drugstore and filed down his own tooth! This do-it-yourself dental work is a testament to his frugality.
Even when “Friends” hit the big time and became the most successful show on television, LeBlanc remained grounded. Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay on the show, shared on Conan O’Brien’s podcast that LeBlanc wasn’t quick to believe the show’s success.
In fact, he even kept his construction worker job during the first season, just in case. This cautious approach probably stemmed from his past experience on a sitcom spinoff from “Married…With Children,” which was cancelled unexpectedly.
The struggles faced by LeBlanc in his early days add a touch of reality to his portrayal of Joey Tribbiani, an actor struggling to make it big. The financial difficulties he faced, the fear of failure, and even the unexpected dental work adventure, all contribute to the authenticity of his character. It might even explain why he famously never shares his food in “Friends”!