Matthew Perry Apologizes For Book Excerpt Which Name Dropped Keanu Reeves

matthew perry in friends/ keanu reeves in john wick chapter 3 parabellum
(Image credit: NBC/Lionsgate)

Matthew Perry has a new memoir coming out, and when celebrities write about their lives you can be nearly certain they are going to say some surprising things. Despite being celebrities, there is much we do not know about their lives, but the thing that now has a lot of people talking about the book Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing is how the actor seemed to have a grudge against Keanu Reeves, though Perry now claims that’s not true at all.

Excerpts from Matthew Perry’s book were published this week in which, it's mentioned how he got Julia Roberts to appear on Friends, as well as how Perry almost died recently. Elsewhere in the book, in discussing the deaths of two different young stars, River Phoenix and Chris Farley, Perry laments that they are gone, but that Keanu Reeves still lives. Perry now tells People that he picked Keanu’s name at random, and he should not have done that, saying… 

I'm actually a big fan of Keanu. I just chose a random name, my mistake. I apologize. I should have used my own name instead.

A lot of people took issue with Perry’s comments, because a lot of people actually love Keanu Reeves. He appears to be one celebrity that nearly everybody is a fan of, which is part of what made Perry singling him out seem unusual. 

The sentiments themselves, that it is tragic when great people or great talents die young, and that such things seem to happen all too often, are certainly shared by many people. In one of the items from the book Perry talks about the very first movie he ever made was with River Phoenix. He laments the loss of Phoenix, who died at 23, saying…

River was a beautiful man, inside and out — too beautiful for this world, it turned out. It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down. Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?

The phrasing of this statement, as well as another, where he talks about learning of the death of Chris Farley, who he also co-starred with, both certainly seem to imply that he feels Keanu Reeves is somehow a lesser talent. Whatever name Perry used was likely to drum up controversy, which is why he’s saying now he should have used his own name. 

Much of the book is about Perry’s own struggles with addiction, so it honestly would have been fitting for Perry to discuss himself, as both died of drug overdoses, but Perry has been able to make it to the recovery phase of life, while they were not.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.