Show creators Marta Kauffman and Kevin Bright spoke about the audition process for Joey on the reunion special. The two admitted that the casting had come down to Matt LeBlanc and Louis Mandylor for the “Friends” role.
Although initially the creators were favoring Mandylor, LeBlanc showed up to the audition with a giant scar on his nose. When asked about it, LeBlanc explained he was drunk with a friend the night before, woke up in the middle of the night, and ended up falling face first on the toilet seat.
Apparently, this felt like such a genuinely “Joey” moment to the creators, that LeBlanc got the part. They also appreciated his honesty about the incident.
Mandylor would actually go on to appear on Season 6 of “Friends”. Funnily enough, he plays a fellow actor named Carl who LeBlanc tries to pass off as his identical twin. In the episode, “The One With the Unagi”, he even attempts Joey’s trademark line: “How you doin’?”
Since Mandylor appeared on the show after it was a huge hit, it doesn’t seem he holds any animosity towards the cast or creators about not getting the part.
The actor was born in Melbourne, Australia and originally named Elias Theodosopoulos.
At the time Louis Mandylor guest starred on “Friends”, he was a series regular on “Martial Law”. He would also go on to play roles in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, the “CSI” shows, and a lot of other movies and TV. So Mandylor’s career was hardly derailed by the “Friends” setback.
After spending ten years on the air as one of the most successful – and rewatched – shows of all time, it would be strange to imagine anyone other than Matt LeBlanc as Joey.
On the “Friends” reunion special, the whole cast reunited and spoke about their experiences and fond memories of the show. LeBlanc, along with Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, and David Schwimmer, still have very obvious chemistry as a great group of friends.
The reunion show also featured a lot of other interesting facts about the show and cast. LeBlanc broke his arm during the filming of one episode and had to wear a cast for a while. Both Aniston and Perry were committed to other projects and ended up begging to be let off the hook in order to appear on “Friends”. And Aniston and Schwimmer apparently had some interesting behind the scenes chemistry…
The “Friends” reunion special is titled “The One Where They Got Back Together”. The episode is available on HBO Max.