Emmys 2013: Matt LeBlanc of ‘Episodes’ has sink of chilled Champagne

Actor Matt LeBlanc (Episodes).
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Matt LeBlanc was all mixed up on Emmy nomination morning. He thought the nominations were going to be announced at 5 a.m., not nearly an hour later. So he set his alarm for 5 a.m. When his phone didn’t ring by 5:15 a.m., LeBlanc thought that was that.

“I thought, ‘Well, OK, it didn’t happen this year,’ and I went back to sleep,” said LeBlanc, speaking on the phone from his trailer on the set of his Showtime series “Episodes.” “Then at quarter of 6 my publicist called. After that I called my mother and she said what she always says, ‘Why does it have to be so early?’ ”

However, it wasn’t his nomination for lead actor in a comedy series that really made LeBlanc’s day.

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“David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik are the only two writers — they write every word. They are literally the backbone of the show, so for them to get nominated, that’s what I’m the most excited about,” LeBlanc said. “They write every single episode in advance, so when we start shooting we have all nine episodes and we shoot it like a movie. It’s very efficient.”

Spirits were running high by the time LeBlanc reached the set -- so much so that there was a surprise waiting for him in his trailer.

“I just got to set, and it’s 10:30 in the morning and I’m looking at a sink full of Champagne on ice,” said LeBlanc, speculating that he might be able to “squeeze a glass in” before he started work.

Work being playing himself on the “Episodes,” which parodies the difficulty of transferring the success of a hit British TV show to Hollywood. LeBlanc, however, was careful to point out that he’s playing himself, in many ways, in name only.

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“As the seasons go by, I tend to look at myself in the mirror while I’m shaving, and the line gets more blurred,” LeBlanc said. “I have to remember that I’m not an alcoholic, and that I am a good dad and I’m not so self-centered. I have to remember who I really am.”

Does he think that most of his fans know that already?

“I don’t mind being the brunt of the joke as long as it’s a good joke,” he says. “People say, ‘Are you worried that people will think that’s what you’re really like?’ If I do my job right, they will — but I’ve made my peace with that. The people who really know me, know who I am. My job as an actor is to alienate the world from Matt LeBlanc.”



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