Matthew Perry revealed in his memoir that he couldn’t bring himself to watch the show because he knew which scenes he had filmed intoxicated.
FRIENDS fans are devastated by the news of the untimely passing of actor Matthew Perry, who played the beloved Chandler Bing on the show. Chandler’s sarcastic and awkward nature contributed to some of the most memorable scenes of the show. However, Perry struggled with substance abuse issues while filming several seasons of FRIENDS. This prevented him from rewatching the show for years, as he could identify the scenes in which he was under the influence.
Perry, who was 54, was found dead in a jacuzzi at his Los Angeles home. Drugs were ruled out as a cause of death. The Sydney actor joined the FRIENDS cast when he was just 24, and by the time the show concluded, he was making a handsome $1 million per episode at the age of 35.
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Matthew Perry Was Too Worried To Watch FRIENDS For Years
Matthew Perry released his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, in November 2022. He attended an event to promote the book at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto. During this event, he sat down with Tom Power to discuss various aspects of the book. Perry opened up about his dark days of addiction and revealed that for years, he couldn’t bring himself to watch FRIENDS because he knew exactly which scenes he had filmed intoxicated. Perry shared with Tom Power:
“Well, I didn’t watch the show and haven’t watched the show because I could go: Drinking… Opiates… Drinking… Cocaine… Like, I could tell season by season by how I looked. And I don’t think anybody else can, but I certainly could. And that’s why I don’t want to watch it. Because that’s what I see, that’s what I noticed when I watch it.”
However, Perry regretted his decision and admitted to Tom Power that he would watch the show that had been adored by different generations. He shared that his co-stars were nice and the whole show had been an incredible ride. The Odd Couple actor added:
“But I think I’m gonna start to watch it because, first of all, it was an incredible ride. But it’s been an incredible thing to watch it touch the hearts of different generations. It’s become this important significant thing and you know, I think I would watch that again. It was really funny and all the people were nice. And I’ve been too worried about this and I would you know I want to watch FRIENDS too.”
Matthew Perry had a jet skiing accident in 1997, following which a doctor prescribed some medicines that got him into substance abuse. Perry entered into rehab twice to overcome his issues and even founded a facility to help others called Perry House.
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Matthew Perry Did Not Remember Filming Several Seasons Of FRIENDS
Matthew Perry barely remembered filming seasons three to six, during which he was deep into his addiction. During an interview with BBC Radio 2 in 2016, Perry was asked about the FRIENDS episodes, and he admitted that he didn’t remember three years of filming. He had earlier opened up about his substance abuse issues, but this revelation came as a shock to fans, as those were some of his peak performances as Chandler Bing.
Perry told BBC Radio 2 (via PEOPLE):
“Oh my goodness. I think the answer is I don’t remember three years of it. So none of those … somewhere between season 3 and 6.”
Following his FRIENDS role, Matthew Perry took on several television roles in shows like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Mr. Sunshine, Go On, and The Odd Couple. He also had several movie roles, including appearances in 17 Again, The Whole Nine Yards, and The Ron Clark Story.
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