'Episodes' Series 2: Matt LeBlanc Returns - But What Are His 'Friends' Doing Now? (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 09/05/2012 15:07 Updated: 11/05/2012 11:58

Matt Leblanc
Matt LeBlanc's Episodes returns

Matt LeBlanc returns in the second series of Episodes on BBC2 on 11 May, with a Golden Globe under his arm and an Emmy nomination to boot.

The comedy-drama - a knowing satire about US television in which he plays an actor called... Matt LeBlanc - has garnered him individual critical acclaim and attention of a type he always had to share with the other five during a decade of playing Joey Tribbiani in the hugely-popular Friends.

LeBlanc is still battling with people's misconceptions about his personality, particularly after an ill-conceived spin-off series in which his character Joey moved to LA. It seemed it just didn't work without his Friends co-stars to bounce off. But to the millions of fans, old and new on endless global reruns, he will remain the cheeky, dopey Joey.

In an interview with The Guardian recently, the actor reflected: "People will speak slowly to me sometimes. And they always ask me if I'm all right, because I'm much more low-key and reserved than my character in Friends. They think that I'm depressed, or I'm sad, or upset - but I'm just not amped up to go out in front of an audience and do a TV show. That's not who I am."

However, anticipation for LeBlanc's return to TV as his Episodes character, aptly named Matt LeBlanc, is building and it seems he's onto another winner.

How difficult is to follow the success of the phenomenon that was, and continues to be, Friends? As LeBlanc gears up for the airing of season two of Episodes - which was filmed in the UK - we run a quick check on how his former New York coffee pals are all faring...

friends

Jennifer Aniston

For some, Aniston will always be known as Rachel from Friends, the coffee-house waitress whose ditzy charm (and much-copied haircut) is still enjoyed today in a million daily reruns, despite the show finishing eight years ago.

Arguably the most successful of the Friends, the past few years have seen her carry her girl-next-door appeal over to the big screen. Sticking to what she knows best, she's continued to play female lead roles that women want to be friends with and men want to marry. Such film roles include her part in Marley & Me,Just Go With It, The Break-Up, Rumour Has It and Love Happens. More recently, Aniston decided it was time to release her inner bad girl. Last year she starred as Dr. Julia Harris, a dentist whose sexually predatory behaviour caused all sorts of office fall-out in Horrible Bosses.

Courteney Cox

Since leaving pedantic Monica Gellar behind, Cox has reprised her role as Gale Weathers in Scream 4, an addition to the horror film trilogy that she filmed while working on Friends.

In 2007, Cox starred as Lucy Spiller, a cynical tabloid editor, in Dirt. However, the series was cancelled after the second season in 2008. And since 2009, she's starred in the relatively well received ABC series Cougar Town, in which she plays a newly single 40 year-old mother on the hunt for new experiences. The comedy drama is currently on its third series.

Lisa Kudrow

The first Friends cast member to win an Emmy (in 1998), Kudrow - who played quirky Phoebe - has appeared in various films and TV shows since the end of the show, including a guest sport on Cox's Cougar Town. She was nominated for an Emmy for her mockumentary show on HBO, The Comeback, about a once-famous actress attempting to get back to the top.

Soon her web series-turned-Showtime sitcom Web Therapy will return, and her Friends co-star David Schwimmer is set to join her on the show.

Matthew Perry

Since leaving Friends and Chandler behind, Perry has made his directorial debut in an episode of the comedy Scrubs. He also appeared in Aaron Sorkin's drama Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, which ran for just one season, and starred in US show Mr Sunshine, which he co-created.

It was recently reported Perry will play a sportscaster who tries to move on from a loss in a new series called Go On.

David Schwimmer

Following Friends, Schwimmer has lent his voice to the animated films Madagascar and Madagascar 2. He's also made the switch from TV to stage, appearing in the leading role in Some Girl(s in London and The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial on Broadway. He made his film directorial debut with the Simon Pegg comedy Run Fatboy Run in 2007 - and in June 2010, putting Ross and Rachel's courting days far behind him, he married British photographer Zoe Buckman.

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