Back in their prime, Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc were among the biggest television names in the business, starring as best friends Chandler Bing and Joey Tribbiani in NBC’s hit sitcom, “Friends.” While airing, the TV show became among the most popular — and highly acclaimed — comedy series of all time, largely because of the dynamic between the six main actors. In fact, the BBC wrote at the time of the series finale in 2004, “While critics commended the series for its consistently sharp writing, a key ingredient of its success was the chemistry among the six principal actors.”
For fans of the series, there is no doubt of this, and it was no better demonstrated than between the emotionally profound yet comically inane friendship between Chandler and Joey. Critics agreed, with LeBlanc being nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes throughout his time on the show, and Perry also receiving an Emmy nod near the end of its run.
But what exists of the two men’s friendship in real life? Are LeBlanc and Perry indeed friends almost two decades later? Well, fans should be glad to know that the test of friendship between the two seems to have stood the test of time.
Matt LeBlanc sees Matthew Perry as his ‘little brother’
As it turns out, it appears as though on-screen besties Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry are indeed real-life friends, even all these years later. As LeBlanc told People in 2015, he considers the whole cast to be essentially his family. “Courteney [Cox] and Lisa [Kudrow] are like my big sisters, but [Jennifer Aniston is] like my little sister,” he told the outlet. “Matthew’s like my little brother, and David [Schwimmer]’s like my big brother.”
Indeed, as LeBlanc pointed out, how he views each of his former castmates are relative to their ages. Schwimmer, Cox, and Kudrow and are all older than him by one, three, and four years, respectively, and Aniston and Perry, who is the youngest member of the cast, are both younger than him by about two years.
In addition, per Hello! magazine, he spoke of Perry in 2016 as someone who he could ring up after several years of no contact without it being awkward at all. “I saw him yesterday. I love that guy!” he said at the time. “I can not see him for five years and then get in a room together and still have that shorthand with each other. It’s amazing, really.” LeBlanc added that he “love[s]” all five of his castmates, and was spending “a lot of time” with them.
The whole Friends cast has ‘leaned on each other’ over the years
Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry are not the only real-life friends to have come out of the popular sitcom. In 2019, a source close to the cast told People that the on-screen chemistry between the six stars was no joke. “They were truly friends,” they said. “There was no behind-the-scenes drama.”
In addition, since the show has ended, the source revealed that the six friends have “really leaned on each other” throughout the years. For Perry, this support may have been paramount, considering the substance abuse issues he has been open about dealing with (Perry is also the only “Friends” star to have never been married, meaning that the strength of his friendships may have been of the utmost importance when it came to getting through his struggles). “The fact that they have been there for each other in happy and in sad times says a lot,” the source added.
Though Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry, possibly along with David Schwimmer, were the only “Friends” stars not to be invited to Jennifer Aniston’s 2015 wedding to Justin Theroux, LeBlanc doesn’t seem to hold a grudge. “Everybody is okay,” LeBlanc told ET at the time. “The girls were there. You’ve got to have the girls there.” No doubt that if he or Perry ever have a wedding themselves anytime soon, the boys will be there for each other, just as they have been over so many years.
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