There are successful TV comedies, and there are “Friends”. The beloved comedy series lasted a whopping ten seasons and is a phenomenon that has remained part of the pop culture landscape. Actor Matthew Perry played Chandler Bing throughout this show, and he recently spoke in his new book about his addiction problems and how bad things were during the filming of the show.
Matthew Perry recently wrote a new memoir called “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing” (opens in new tab), which will be released in wide release next month. During a conversation with People, the 53-year-old actor will be truly open and vulnerable to the public about his substance problems. What started with drunkenness turned into other vices when the success of “Friends” began, as he shared:
I didn’t know how to stop. If the police came to my house and said, “If you drink tonight, we’ll send you to jail,” I would start packing. I couldn’t stop because the disease and addiction are progressing. So it gets worse and worse with age.
The Friends icon talks so openly about his struggle with addiction in the hope that his book “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing” may be useful for those who face similar problems. As he shares in his memoirs, at one point he was taking 55 vicodins a day just to make ends meet. And this despite the fact that he has been constantly working on “Friends” for ten years.
Matthew Perry at some point during this time lost up to 128 pounds, which, obviously, the actors and the crew of “Friends” noticed. For his part, Perry says his partners did nothing but support him as best they could. He offered another quote about the intersection of the show and his addiction, saying:
I could handle it, kind of like [in my 20s]. But by the time I turned 34, I was really in a lot of trouble. But there were years when I was sober at that time. Season 9 was the year I was sober the whole way through. And guess what season I was nominated for Best actor? I thought: “That should tell me something.”
In the end, Matthew Perry admits that over the years he has been rehabilitated 15 times, as relapses are often part of the process for those who recover. He also had serious physical problems as a result of years of drug use. Perry said that he almost died a few years ago at the age of 49 due to a perforation of the gastrointestinal tract and a rupture of the colon, which may explain his appearance during a special edition of “Friends.”
Promoting his book “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” the Friends icon told people about his recovery and why tracking his sobriety is an important part of the process. He said,
This is important, but if you lose your sobriety, it does not mean that you will lose all this time and education. Your sober date changes, but that’s all that changes. You know everything you knew before, while you were able to fight your way back without dying, you learned a lot.
Matthew Perry recently reunited with his “Friends” co-stars for a special reunion, to the delight of generations of fans. He currently has no acting projects planned, but his book will be released on November 1. In the meantime, check out the list of autumn premieres to plan your next binge viewing.