Matt LeBlanc made us fall in love with him during his years on Friends. Besides being an all-around handsome dude, LeBlanc’s portrayal of Joey Tribbiani on the show made us laugh, sniffle, aww, and cheer. He could have easily played Joey as a slow-thinking, womanizing, New York actor, but he infused Tribbiani with dimensionality and vulnerability. So, it only makes sense that during the casting of the hit show Modern Family, ABC considered hiring LeBlanc to play Phil Dunphy — a role that later went to Ty Burrell, the producers’ top pick.
Truth be told, we can kinda see LeBlanc as the lovable real estate agent. With such memorable lines as, “I’ve always said that if my son thinks of me as one of his idiot friends, I’ve succeeded as a dad,” we know LeBlanc could have delivered these gems with the perfect comedic touch.
In an interview with USA Today, LeBlanc recalls receiving the script for Modern Family with an offer to play Phil Dunphy. (The actor had taken quite a bit of time off after the Friends spinoff Joey ended. We don’t blame him.) He had an immediate response to the script:
And the rest is history, as they say! Burrell accepted the role and embraced his inner Dunphy. We all know what happened next. Ta-Da!
It’s kind of amazing that LeBlanc had a sixth sense and walked away from a role that wasn’t quite right for him. But don’t worry too much for him, the actor eventually found his way to a show that was perfect — Showtime’s Episodes. So, y’know, all’s well that ends well.