Andrea Anders: Love Interest of 'Friends' Men, On and Off-Screen
By Stacy Jenel Smith Posted Feb 17th 2011 10:00PM
Since signing up to play the love interest of 'Mr. Sunshine' star Matthew Perry, Andrea Anders holds the distinction of working with one 'Friends' star while living with another, Matt LeBlanc.
"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 beautiful blonde actress first met LeBlanc on his 'Joey' sitcom. And her 'Friends' tie-ins certainly don't stop there. "Kevin Bright, who was one of the 'Friends' producers, worked on that show, and we did it on Stage 24 at Warner Bros., the 'Friends' stage."
When 'Joey' bit the dust, she 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 says.
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 says. "Not that we're not proud to go out where we're needed."
Um-hm. We're starting to get a picture of what this relationship must be like. So, are Andrea and Matt L. getting married before we can get this interview posted? "You never know," answers the Wisconsin native with a laugh. "Matt LeBlanc is very spontaneous. He might sweep me off to Vegas at any time."
But then she adds, "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 tells PopEater that, despite the connections, she auditioned 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 says 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. 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 she's 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.' She makes it clear she's not complaining. "I'm happy to have done them. It's good to have fun and pay the bills until the big one comes along."
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. 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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