I missed the sitcom lifestyle, says Friends star Matthew Perry

  • Shweta Mehta Sen, Hindustan Times, Los Angeles
  • Updated: Feb 02, 2015 16:57 IST

If you've watched TV through the '90s till 2004, it's unlikely that you didn't come across the popular sitcom, Friends. And who can forget the self-deprecating, sarcastic character of Matthew Perry, who essayed Chandler Bing?

Now, though, Perry is more eager to discuss his new show, The Odd Couple. A new take on the 1965 Broadway play - which has already been adapted to a 1968 film and a '70s TV series - it stars Perry as the easy-going Oscar Madison, who shares a house with Thomas Lennon's character, Felix Ungar.

It's been 30 years since the original TV adaptation. What parts of it still remain compelling, and what doesn't work anymore?
We've modernised it a bit; it deals with relationships, and two single guys in their 40s, trying to date. But the core - which is two very different guys living together and driving each other crazy - remains the same.

Did people expect Matt LeBlanc (Friends co-star) to be your roommate on this show too?
No, I don't think so. Plus, I'm playing Oscar, and I think he would suit that role too.

Was it weird having your­ ex-girlfriend, Lauren Graham, play your ex-wife on the show?
No, we've been good friends for years. She has come on every show I've done. We share good chemistry too.

Did you refer to the original play or any of the adaptations?
It was difficult to not pick every line from the movie. I loved the TV show, but it's the movie that really made me to want to play Oscar.

Eleven years after Friends, how has comedy changed on TV?
I realised that the sitcom lifestyle and having an audience is so much fun. I missed it. Now, we're doing a straight sitcom, like those in the '80s and '90s.

Do people still expect a bit of Chandler in your characters?
People thought I'd play Felix, because Chandler was more like him. People do have certain expectations but it's your job to go away from that.

You have lost a lot of weight.
Oh, thank you. I just removed all pleasure from my life. (laughs)

The writer's trip to Los Angeles, USA, was sponsored by AXN India and hosted by CBS Studios

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