Joey's Paulo Costanzo

updated 11/15/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/15/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

Prior to being cast as Matt LeBlanc's whiz-kid nephew and roommate on Joey—NBC's sitcom about the former Friend, lovable dim-bulb Joey Tribbiani—the most awesome event in Paulo Costanzo's 26 years of life was probably his birth. His mother delivered him on a kitchen table in Toronto. "My parents were hippies," explains Costanzo, the only child of a musician and an artist (now divorced). "They met at an ashram, where they were studying how to be enlightened."

For Costanzo, the sound of just one hand clapping was never enough. He began acting in Canadian TV in high school, made minor movie inroads (2000's Road Trip) and had been in L.A. only three months before landing Joey. To share a stage with LeBlanc, he says, is "awesome." Usually. "Matt has a tendency to lock the door on you when you're ready to walk in. He finds that hilarious." Meanwhile, he's living a Beverly Hills variation of Friends, sharing an apartment with two guys (and a French bulldog, Furnando) while looking for his own Rachel, Monica or Phoebe. What's he got to offer? "I'm 5'10", weigh 150 lbs. and have a huge personality."

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