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Andrea Anders on Dating 'Friends' Men On and Off Screen

by PopEater Staff, posted Feb 27th 2011 10:00AM
Andrea Anders Matt Le Blanc Matthew Perry
Andrea Anders is in a 'Friends' love triangle ... sort of. While playing the love interest of 'Mr. Sunshine' star Matthew Perry, Anders is also living with another former 'Friends' cast member, Matt LeBlanc, who is now starring on Showtime's 'Episodes.'

"It was actually pretty funny. I would come home from work and tell Matt about things we'd done on the set and things Matthew Perry had done, and he'd say, 'Oh, yeah. I remember him doing that on our show,'" Anders told PopEater.

"They're both always giving each other credit for doing funny things: 'Oh, that was straight from LeBlanc.' 'Perry came up with that.' Then there's this big gray area where they can't remember which one originated something because they both did."

The actress first met LeBlanc on the short-lived 'Friends' spinoff 'Joey.' When 'Joey' bit the dust, Anders went on to star on 'The Class' for former 'Friends' producers David Crane, Jeffrey Klarik and James Burrows -- which was also filmed on Stage 24. "And then I got a job with another 'Friend.' It's crazy," she said.

'Mr. Sunshine,' set in a San Diego sports arena, got off to a rousing start for ABC last week with a debut audience of 10.6 million. This season's episodes are already in the can, complete with guest stars, such as Nick Jonas (who guested on last night's episode), Jimmy Connors and James Taylor.

Asked who she'd like to have guest in the future, Anders volunteered, "I think Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, would be a great guest star."

She and LeBlanc are, indeed, Packers fans. They don't go around wearing giant cheese wedges on their heads, do they?

"We don't really go out with those. They're more for home," she said. "Not that we're not proud to go out where we're needed."

As for their relationship's future, Anders said "you never know" to the question of wedding bells. ""Matt LeBlanc is very spontaneous," she said with a laugh. "He might sweep me off to Vegas at any time."

(But then she added, "No, I don't think so.")

A University of Wisconsin graduate who went on to earn her master's degree in fine arts from Rutgers University, Anders has a background full of stage work, including a stint as Elaine Robinson in 'The Graduate' on Broadway. She's also done a lot of episodic TV, including 'Law & Order,' 'Oz' and 'The Stepford Wives.'

She told PopEater that, despite the connections, she had to audition to get 'Mr. Sunshine.' It was "one of those times of you leaving an audition knowing you nailed it." She went off on a planned trip to Mexico with her mother, and by the time she returned, the part was hers.

Anders said both Matts gave her similar advice when it comes to sitcom scenes: "Always make sure you do a take for yourself. You're going to get a lot of input from other people, but always do a take for just you -- your choices, your decisions. That's been really valuable to me."

According to her, after 'Mr. Sunshine's' strong premiere, "There was a lot of calling, a lot of text messaging" with castmates Perry, Allison Janney, Nate Torrence and James Lesure congratulating one another. Anders, a veteran of three series, took it in stride.

"I've been in this position so many times before, I have a tendency to focus on the work and then forget about the results," she said. "Matthew Perry jokes about that. He'll say, 'Let me tell you something about the show before before you ask me about my personal life.'"

Now Anders is hoping that with 'Mr. Sunshine,' she breaks out of the two-seasons-or-less pattern she's had with her other shows, the last being 'Better Off Ted.' Though, she's "happy to have done them," she amended. " It's good to have fun and pay the bills until the big one comes along."

So will 'Mr. Sunshine' be the big one? Only time will tell, but it's off to a promising start. On the show, her character, Alice, has been in a friends-with-benefits relationship with Perry's character, Ben. Since that affair has no future, however, she's moving on with the clearly smitten Alonzo (James Lesure). But Ben still has a hold on Alice.

Anders does not relate to the two-men-in-her-life aspect of the character. "It seems confusing to me. I like one person. It's really interesting because I have a few girlfriends, who, sort of, I don't know how to say it -- play the field," she explained. "

I hadn't really thought about it, but it occurred to me, what an interesting thing, in 2011, this is still kind of an issue -- a woman dating more than one man. But if a man is dating a few people, there's no question there. We haven't progressed quite as far as we like to think, have we?"

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