At one time, Matthew did not breathe evenly towards Jenn, but was rejected. But it was Aniston who helped him become stronger.
Friends is a series we want to keep watching non-stop. It’s not just about the jokes that always make us laugh; the show is about the model of perfect friendship. Throughout 10 seasons, the characters were not just friends and neighbors, but a true family to each other. The actors brought the love they developed for each other off-screen into their performances, capturing everyone’s hearts. When one of the stars of the series, Matthew Perry, had health problems, it was his friends that helped him. They surrounded him with care and helped him rebuild his life.
After many failures, Matthew Perry got his fateful role in Friends.
Matthew Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts. But after his parents divorced and his mom got remarried to broadcast journalist Keith Morrison, he moved to Canada. He spent his childhood and youth there, but when he graduated from school, he went to Los Angeles to become an actor. Matthew suffered from loneliness and insecurity. He thought that success and fame would help him overcome these feelings, so he went to Hollywood. Besides, Perry used to enjoy school plays, and he felt he was talented.
In California, Matthew finished acting school and started to get small parts in popular series. His breakthrough was Boys Will Be Boys, where he portrayed Chazz Russell. Unfortunately, the show was shut down after its first season. After that, he had many guest roles in other series, such as Growing Pains, Sydney, Beverly Hills, 90210, and others. But he didn’t have a steady job yet.
At the beginning of the 90s, Perry started to get lead roles. He had already agreed to appear in LAX 2194, but also decided to audition for the pilot of Friends. That was how Perry got the role of Chandler Bing, which made him a big star.
He couldn’t handle fame.
After the resounding success of Friends, Matthew finally became famous worldwide. He was thrilled about the fame for the first several months, but then he realized that it didn’t solve any of his problems. He said that he was somewhat similar to his character, Chandler. Like him, Perry would joke a lot and try to hide his true feelings. Back when he was a teenager, Matthew developed bad habits and resorted to them to handle his problems.
«When [fame] happens, it’s kind of like Disneyland for a while. For me it lasted about eight months, this feeling of ‘I’ve made it, I’m thrilled, there’s no problem in the world.’ And then you realize that it doesn’t accomplish anything, it’s certainly not filling any holes in your life.»
He was hopelessly in love with Jennifer Aniston.
Not long ago, Matthew admitted that before the filming of Friends, he met Jennifer Aniston and instantly fell in love with her. The future colleagues met each other through their mutual friends, but Perry wasn’t ready to tell Jennifer about his feelings. But he hoped he would have the right moment.
“I was immediately taken by her (how could I not be?) and liked her, and I got the sense she was intrigued too—maybe it was going to be something.”
When Matthew got the role of Chandler, he called Jennifer and asked her out, but she rejected him and wanted them to be friends. Perry said they couldn’t be friends. But in the end, he managed to focus on the job and turn their relationship into friendship. But he was still secretly in love with Jennifer.
Because the love was unrequited, Matthew’s romantic feelings started to die down. Perry finally overcame his love when Jennifer started dating Brad Pitt. It was then when they really became friends. Jennifer was really worried about Matthew’s health. She was very honest with him about her concerns and offered to help. Perry later said, “She was the one that reached out the most. I’m really grateful to her for that.”
He started fighting for his life thanks to the help of his friends.
When his bad habits started to cause real trouble for Matthew, the actors and creators of the series gathered in the dressing room to voice their concerns about his condition. So, Perry started a long path of fighting for his life. In 1997, he visited rehab for the first time and spent 28 days there. Unfortunately, the treatment didn’t help much. Matthew would spend many years trying to overcome these challenges. And his friends would always be around to help him.
“It’s like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That’s kind of what the cast did for me.”
He was in rehab 15 times.
Over the years, Perry estimated that he went through detox 65 times and went to rehab 15 times. He had experienced a lot of different health issues, especially with his digestive system. He was also hospitalized for a perforated bowel.
Once, Matthew contracted pneumonia and was put on life support. After being in a coma for two weeks, Perry said he woke up to see his family at his bedside. During the whole time he was in the hospital, he was never left alone. After that, Matthew had 14 surgeries to restore his damaged health. What he’d been through made him think about many things, such as how the experience must have affected his parents. So, he decided to change his life forever.
He wrote a book to help other people with addictions.
His experience made Matthew realize what other people with similar problems have to go through. He decided that his fame is a chance to use his voice to make other people understand what such a lifestyle might lead to. So, in 2022, he published a book called “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.”
Matthew managed to beat his addictions, and he still counts every single day he has spent without them. Perry says that it’s important to do that in order to not to turn back and undo all the achievements. With his book, he wants to explain to people that anyone can have similar problems. It doesn’t matter whether you are famous or not. Now he is healthy, he can enjoy life again, and he is grateful for the second chance.
«I’m an extremely grateful guy. I’m grateful to be alive, that’s for sure. And that gives me the possibility to do anything.»