Friends Star Matt LeBlanc Rejected a Modern Family Role That Could’ve Returned Him to Peak Comedy: “I’m not the guy for this”

FRIENDS star, Matt LeBlanc turned down Modern Family role.

Friends Star Matt LeBlanc Rejected a Modern Family Role That Could've Returned Him to Peak Comedy: "I'm not the guy for this"


  • Matt LeBlanc rose to global prominence with the Joey Tribbiani role on FRIENDS.
  • During his acting break, he was offered to play Phil Dunphy in Modern Family.
  • The actor refused the offer, revealing that he wouldn't want to do injustice with the project.
Show More
Featured Video

Matt LeBlanc is well known for his iconic role in FRIENDS. But little would fans know that he was also offered to star in another renowned sitcom, Modern Family, which ran for about 11 seasons (2009-2020). 

Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani
Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani

It would have been a great opportunity for the actor to relive his peak comedy phase once again, but he chose to turn it down. As for the reason, the actor believed that he was not the right one for the project. 

Matt LeBlanc Was Offered to Play Phil Dunphy in Modern Family

Matt LeBlanc rose to prominence by playing the goofy role of Joey Tribbiani on FRIENDS. The immense popularity of the main characters, especially Joey led to a spin-off, which failed to skyrocket like its predecessor, leading to its cancellation.


As the spin-off failed, the actor took a step back from acting for a few years. However, that didn’t mean that his demand lessened in any way. 

Matt LeBlanc was offered to play Modern Family role
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy on Modern Family

Back in 2017, he told USA Today about getting an offer to play Phil Dunphy on Modern Family. He shared, “[The Modern Family pilot script] came across my desk with an offer to play Ty Burrell’s role.”

However, he chose to turn it down, explaining that he felt he was not the right person to portray the role. 


“I remember reading it thinking, this is a really good script, (but) I’m not the guy for this. I’d be doing the project an injustice to take this. I know what I can do, I know what I can’t do. Plus, I’m having too much fun laying on the couch.”

LeBlanc had a feeling that the role was not something that would fit him it was originally written with Ty Burrell in mind. After quite a quest, the studio eventually settled with Burrell, who made great contributions to making the show a great success. However, LeBlanc did play a great role in helping Modern Family cast members with his advice.

Matt LeBlanc Offered His Advice to Modern Family Cast About Salary Dispute

Matt LeBlanc gave his advice to Modern Family cast member
A still from Modern Family

It is well known that the FRIENDS cast members nabbed their whopping $1 million paycheck per episode thanks to their negotiation skills in unison. Long story short, all six main cast members decided to negotiate together to get equally paid, barring which they would all have left the hit show.

The Modern Family cast went through a similar salary dispute when Jesse Tyler Ferguson called the former to ask for his advice. 


Ferguson, who plays gay son Mitchell Pritchett, wanted to know the FRIENDS stars’ secret behind the whopping salary, which he stated to the same outlet, 

“You have to walk out, or they won’t take you seriously,” LeBlanc recalled sharing as he added, “If you stick together, you have power.”

He also revealed about pulling a prank on Ferguson. The day when the sitcom cast refused to show up for work, the Joey star texted The Class star, “Hey, I killed it as Mitch today at the table read, thanks for the opportunity!”

While the fans were unable to witness LeBlanc’s version of Phil Dunphy in the series, it might have been overshadowed or compared to his FRIENDS role had he accepted the offer. Since Joey’s appearance is still a fresh memory for audiences even now, it would have been bound to get compared. Whereas, Burrell’s portrayal surely fit in well with what we know of the character today. 


The Modern Family is streaming on Hulu whereas FRIENDS is available on Max. 


Written by Priya Sharma

Articles Published: 1163

Priya Sharma, Senior Content Writer and Social Media Manager at FandomWire and Animated Times. Having graduated in Journalism and Mass Communication, she possesses extensive expertise in crafting engaging and informative content. She has written over 2000 articles across Animated Times and FandomWire on pop culture, showing her dedication to delivering diverse and trending content to readers across the world. Apart from pop culture, she is quite enthusiastic about the Hallyu culture and is exploring the world of anime, expanding the horizons of her knowledge.