Matthew Perry ‘Really Grateful’ to ‘Friends’ Costar Jennifer Aniston for Helping His Recovery (VIDEO)
They were Friends onscreen and off. Matthew Perry says that Jennifer Aniston, one of his costars from the 2000s-era NBC comedy, confronted him about his drinking and then supported him during his recovery.
Perry opens up about his struggled with drugs and alcohol — and his friendship with Aniston — in a new promo for Diane Sawyer’s upcoming sit-down with the actor for ABC News ahead of the November 1 release of Perry’s memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.
“Secrets kill you,” Perry tells Sawyer in the promo. “Secrets kill people like me.”
Sawyer mentions in the interview that at the height of his career, Perry had the No. 1 show and the No. 1 movie in America. “At the time, I should have been the toast of the town,” Perry reflects. “I was in a dark room, meeting with nothing but drug dealers and completely alone.”
Perry also confirms an anecdote from his memoir — that he was using methadone and Xanax and drinking full quart of vodka a day. “Fifty-five Vicodin a day,” the actor adds in the interview.
And he discusses a near-death experience. “I was in a coma and, you know, escaped death really narrowly,” he says. (As E! News reports, Perry was in a coma for two weeks after his colon burst as a result of his opioid use, and he spent five months in the hospital and needed a colostomy bag for nine months.)
But as Sawyer recounts, it was Aniston who cornered Perry about his addiction, saying that she and the other Friends costars knew that he was drinking. It was also Aniston, though, who kept in closest contact. “Imagine how scary a moment that was,” Perry says. “She was the one that reached out the most, and I’m really grateful to her for that.”
On a lighter note, Perry’s memoir includes an anecdote about his quirky line deliveries as Chandler on Friends. (Think of all the Chandler lines that start “Could I be more…”) As the actor recalls in the book, he won over the Friends casting agents when he “read the words in an unexpected fashion, hitting emphases that no one else had hit.”
“I was back in Ottawa with my childhood friends the Murrays; I got laughs where no one else had,” he adds, per Deadline. “I was talking in a way that no one had talked in sitcoms before, hitting odd emphases, picking a word in a sentence you might not imagine was the beat. I didn’t know it yet, but my way of speaking would filter into the culture across the next few decades. For now, though, I was just trying to find interesting ways into lines that were already funny, but that I thought I could truly make dance.”
He also writes that he knew he needed to play Chandler when he read the first script. “It was as if someone had followed me around for a year, stealing my jokes, copying my mannerisms, photocopying my world-weary yet witty view of life. … It wasn’t that I thought I could play ‘Chandler’; I was Chandler.”
Matthew Perry: The Diane Sawyer Interview, Friday, October 28, 8/7c, ABC