When Matthew Perry released his memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing he made it clear that it wouldn’t “sugarcoat” anything about his time on Friends. This has been true on multiple occasions, however, when he explained his experience during the series finale he really didn't hold back. The actor went into detail about how his costars, including Jennifer Aniston, were all sobbing when the director yelled “cut” one last time, and how he didn’t feel anything, likely because of his drug addiction.
He set the scene explaining in his memoir (via BuzzFeed News) that “Embryonic Journey” by Jefferson Airplane was playing, and then their first AD yelled, “that’s a wrap” and “tears sprang from almost everyone’s eyes." Perry then wrote:
Even just watching the series finale, especially the last scene when they’re all in the empty apartment, I think you can see the tear stains on Aniston’s face, and it’s clear just how emotional that scene was for everyone. However, Perry said he was not overtaken with emotion like his castmates.
The actor then went on to explain how his addiction may have been the reason behind his emotionless reaction, writing:
In all the news that has come out about Perry’s book, it’s clear he’s being candid and honest about how his addiction impacted not only his time on Friends. He explained that during the filming of the show he “didn’t know how to stop” using drugs. Perry reflected on his addiction speaking about how it’s “progressive” and “gets worse and worse” the older people get.
While Perry discussed his struggles with addiction while making Friends, he also wrote about how the show could have saved his life. He said that he woke up in a hospital, and found out that the doctor had kept doing CPR on him past the three-minute mark because he “didn’t want the guy from Friends dying on his table.”
Meanwhile, during the show, the actor behind Chandler also noted that Jennifer Aniston reached out to him the most about his struggle with addiction. Perry said he is “really grateful” that the Rachel actress did that for him.
While Perry has said he does not think his Friends co-stars will read his memoir, he did say he thinks people dealing with addiction, and those who loved the NBC sitcom will care a lot about the book. He’s been very open recently about just how much he went through with his drug addiction, especially during the making of Friends, and it’s nice to see him recovering and reflecting on such a difficult time in his life.
If you’d like to go back and watch Perry, Aniston and the rest of the amazing Friends cast in the sitcom turned cultural phenomenon, you can do so with an HBO Max subscription.
Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.