The cast of Friends were at the height of their fame during the run of the show. But Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing, said some of those years were also a dark time for him. He talked about his past and being painfully hungover at work.
Matthew Perry went through a dark time while on ‘Friends’
The actor talked to People in 2002 about going to rehab in 1997 and 2001 because he was addicted to Vicodin and alcohol. He said it all started after he got into a jet ski accident and started to use Vicodin excessively.
“It wasn’t my intention to have a problem with it,” he said. “But from the start I liked how it made me feel, and I wanted to get more.” The actor added, “I was out of control and very unhealthy.”
He eventually lost 20 lbs. and was hospitalized for pancreatitis. “Unfortunately, that still wasn’t enough to get me to quit drinking,” Perry said. He later did get treatment and years later Perry revealed how the substances affected his experience of being on the hit show.
He admitted to being hungover
Perry talked about his hardships while working on the hit show. He revealed that his use of substances led to him losing some of his memory.
“I was a little out of it at the time — I don’t remember three years of it,” he said on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show. Perry added, “From an outsider’s perspective, it would seem like I had it all. It was actually a very lonely time for me because I was suffering from alcoholism.”
The actor made it clear that he wasn’t under the influence as he worked. “I was never high at work,” Perry said. “I was painfully hung-over. Then eventually things got so bad I couldn’t hide it and everybody knew.”
Perry later opened an addiction recovery facility then sold it. He also continued acting. The actor more recently was on The Kennedys After Camelot, The Good Fight, and The Odd Couple.
Perry will be joining the reunion
The cast will be coming together for a reunion special for HBO Max. It was previously postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Perry announced when it has been rescheduled.
“Friends reunion being rescheduled for the beginning of March. Looks like we have a busy year coming up. And that’s the way I like it!” Perry tweeted.
Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman further explained why the special was postponed. “This is a show that is not scripted, but this is the way the show works,” Kauffman told Entertainment Tonight. “We are going to need a live audience. Even if we socially distance that live audience, it really is a huge part of what Friends is. We cannot do it without them.”