Stephen Mangan says Matt LeBlanc’s TV comeback in UK-based sitcom Episodes is a ‘brave choice’.
From the same creator as Friends, the BBC Two show is one of the most anticipated comedies of the year, but while speaking to the BBC Stephen said he thought it was risky on Matt’s part.
“I think it’s a brave choice…because you don’t necessarily see a particularly attractive side of him.
“He can often be quite dark and rude and unpleasant, which over here we love. I think the Brits, [with] our sensibilities, find that very endearing and we like people to open up in that way, but I don’t know how they’ll take it in the States.”
Episodes, sees Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig play a British couple invited to the States to remake their hit UK show, but things take a turn for the worse when they’re forced to replace their lead actor, a Royal Shakespeare Company veteran, with Matt LeBlanc.
Speaking about Matt’s character in the show, Stephen said: “They had a lot of fun playing around with people’s perceptions of him because he played one of the world’s dumbest characters on TV (Joey Tribbiani in Friends) and people think he’s stupid, but he’s not”.
Although Episodes is set in Hollywood, most of the filming was done in the UK. But Stephen and Tamsin did get to visit LA for some filming, with Stephen admitting he enjoyed the A-list treatment.
“It’s a very exciting place to go, driving into those studios, people zipping around on golf carts and famous faces. You do feel thrilled to be there.
“But at the same time it’s very bewildering. You don’t know what everyone’s agenda is. Everyone is telling you all how utterly amazing and brilliant you are, but you know they’re telling everybody exactly the same thing.
“Someone said it’s like death by encouragement and I totally understand that now.”
*Episodes starts on BBC Two on Monday, 10 January at 10pm. Watch Matt in the trailer here: