Matt LeBlanc is opening up about the struggles he faced after starring as Joey Tribbiani on Friends for 10 years. In a new interview with The Mirror, LeBlanc revealed that he went through a series of personal crises and a very troubled period after the show ended.
Shortly after Friends ended in 2004, LeBlanc’s daughter, Marina, was diagnosed with cortical dysplasia, a birth abnormality that affects brain development. Luckily Marina, now 11, eventually outgrew her medical condition.
Then, in March 2006, LeBlanc filed for divorce from his wife, Melissa McKnight. Only two months later, NBC canceled his Friends spin-off series titled Joey.
“It was a very dark time,” LeBlanc told The Mirror. “I almost had a nervous breakdown.”
The actor became so reclusive at his California cattle ranch that he cut his hair into a mohawk to avoid the temptation to go out, according to The Mirror.
“For years and years, I barely left the house. I was burnt out. I wanted to not have a schedule, not be somewhere. I was in a position to do that. My agent was bummed. Most actors call their agents and say, ‘What’s going on?'” LeBlanc added. “I’d call mine and say, ‘Please lose my number for a few years.'”
During his time off, LeBlanc focused on his daughter. He opened up to The Mirror about his relationship with her, calling their bond “the best thing in my life.”
“I remember when my daughter, Marina, was born. The second I laid eyes on her, I was in love, and I had never felt that way before,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
LeBlanc is now getting back in the game. BBC recently announced that LeBlanc will join Chris Evans as the co-host of the new Top Gear, scheduled to air in May.
“As a car nut and a massive fan of Top Gear, I’m honored and excited to be a part of this iconic show’s new chapter,” he told BBC. “What a thrill!”
Friends fans should also be excited that LeBlanc will join his former costars Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox on a special tribute airing Sunday, Feb. 21, on NBC.