Matt LeBlanc Says He Filed His Own Tooth for a Headshot Before 'Friends': "I'm Very Frugal"

"I go to the drugstore and buy a three-pack emery boards," he said about making his own file after he learned that the dentist would charge him $80.
Courtesy of Chris Millard/CONAN

Before Matt LeBlanc made it big as Joey Tribbiani on Friends, the actor was barely getting by financially.

"You know when you think, 'All right, I got a little money in the bank. I can hold out til the next gig.' I think I was down to $11," he said about his financial state before booking the role while visiting Conan on Thursday. "Now that's holding out too long. Because even if I said at that point, 'All right, I'm gonna go get a waiter job,' by the time that $11 ran out, it would've been before the first paycheck on that job."

Host Conan O'Brien asked if LeBlanc could afford a headshot to bring along to auditions.

"I had the same headshot for a long time," answered LeBlanc.

The actor then recalled the first time he went to a professional photographer to have his headshot taken. "It's all set up. He has the cameras and the lights and everything and he says, 'Before we take this, you might want to go and get that tooth filed,'" he recalled. "He goes, 'One tooth is a little longer than the other one.'"

The actor said that he agreed to get it filed and would come back to take the headshot. "This is back when there were phone booths and the Yellow Pages. So I look up a dentist, no insurance. I go to see the guy. He says, 'Yeah, I can file that for you. It would be about 80 bucks. I go, '80 bucks? What?'"

LeBlanc asked the dentist what he planned to do and he explained that he would file it down. "I go, 'Let me see the file.' So he shows it to me and I go, 'Oh forget it,'" he said. "So I go to the drugstore and buy a three-pack emery boards." He then mimicked himself filing his own tooth.

"I'm very frugal," he said as O'Brien showed his shock.

LeBlanc added that the photographer thought that the dentist did a good job when he returned to take his headshot. "He goes, 'They did a nice job,'" he recalled.

Earlier in the interview, LeBlanc spoke about the lasting legacy of the show due to its many reruns and popularity on Netflix.

"It's unbelievable," he said. "Every generation. Every year there's some new kids that discover it and even for people that are not discovering it for the first time, it like people have called it 'comfort food,' things like that. It's kind of nice."

Watch the interview below.