When it comes to comedy, Andrea Anders gets by with a little help from her “Friends.”
The “Mr. Sunshine” star has a few intimate connections to the classic sitcom: her off-screen beau (and former “Joey” co-star) is Matt LeBlanc, and her on-screen ex is Matthew Perry. Anders says she’s learned a lot about getting laughs from watching both Matts in action.
“They both kind of went through the exact same training, for ten years on that show working with all of those people – those writers and those directors,” says Anders. “And so they just have an understanding of comedy and an understanding of their own abilities, and that’s the same with both of them: they’re just professionals. And so it’s interesting to watch, and inspiring, and helpful.”
“I was watching 'Friends' – it started when I was in college and, yes, I never really thought that I was going to be working with them,” she admits.
Anders says LeBlanc’s suggestions have helped her hone her own distinct comedy style. “One of the things that he taught me when we were working together was to always try to do a take for yourself, because you get a lot of notes from the executives, from the writers, from the directors, from the producers,” she says. “It’s tricky to try to satisfy everybody, so he always told me to try to do one take just for yourself the way you want to do it, the way you think is best, what you think is right, and just at least get it in. I thought that was really, really good advice and I’ve taken it.”
At work, her character Alice’s former “friends-with-benefits” relationship with Perry’s Ben will be re-heating in the immediate future. “We got to play a little bit in that area at the very beginning of the season, and then you’ll see a little bit at the end too, and it’s really fun,” she reveals.
While going for laughs on the show, she’s also working comedy magic at home with LeBlanc – but who’s funnier in their unscripted lives? “We had a conversation a long, long time ago about how much we make each other laugh, because one of the high points of our relationship is that we really know how to crack each other up,” she syas. “But I guess…you know what, I’ll say me! I think me. I think I’m funnier!”