Why Matthew Perry Says He Isn’t Interested in a ‘Friends’ Reunion

Fans would love it if the Central Perk crew got back together for a Friends reunion. But Matthew Perry — who played Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer — has a few reasons for passing on the idea of a revival of the TV show. Ahead, get all the details on why Perry doesn’t want to reprise his role as Chandler, no matter how much fans love the character and the show.

He needs to take care of his health

Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

One of the biggest reasons why a Friends reunion likely isn’t a priority for Matthew Perry right now is that he needs to spend his time taking care of his health. As Fox reports, Perry revealed that he recently stayed in the hospital for three months following surgery to repair a ruptured bowel. A punctured bowel, or gastrointestinal perforation, can occur along any point in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. That includes the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.

Perry has opened up about his other health struggles in the past. In 2013, he talked about his struggles with alcohol abuse and Vicodin addiction. Healthline notes that excessive use of alcohol increases the risk of gastrointestinal perforation. So it’s possible that the substance abuse issues that he’s talked about in the past played a role in Perry’s case. Either way, he probably needs some time to recover.

Matthew Perry said he has nightmares about a Friends reunion

Matthew Perry also directly addressed his reasons for avoiding a Friends reunion. He told Variety that he has nightmares about reviving the show. “I have this recurring nightmare — I’m not kidding about this. When I’m asleep, I have this nightmare that we do Friends again, and nobody cares,” the actor explained.

Perry added that in those nightmares, “We do a whole series, we come back, and nobody cares about it. So if anybody asks me, I’m gonna say no. The thing is: We ended on such a high. We can’t beat it. Why would we go and do it again?” It also sounds like a show like Friends just isn’t the kind of material he wants to spend his time on at this point in his career. “In the second half of my life, I don’t want to do your standard sitcom television. I want to do edgier, darker, dramatic stuff,” he told Variety.

He had some rough years while filming Friends

Actors David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox Arquette, Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc pose backstage during the 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

Actors David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox Arquette, Jennifer Aniston, and Matt LeBlanc pose backstage during the 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. | Robert Mora/ Getty Images

Most Friends fans have happy memories of Chandler Bing. But as The Daily Beast reports, Matthew Perry doesn’t remember everything that went on when he filmed the sitcom. In fact, he said that he can’t remember about three years of the show. That’s because he struggled with addiction to alcohol and several prescription drugs while filming the show.

In 1997, he completed a 28-day program for Vicodin addiction. And in 2001, he entered a rehab hospital to recover from his use of Vicodin, methadone, amphetamines, and alcohol. Perry told the BBC that he never drank while filming Friends. But he was often “painfully hungover.” The Daily Beast reports that even apart from the effects of blackouts, alcohol consumption can impair long-term memory by disrupting or damaging the hippocampus. (That’s a region of the brain that aids in the formation of new memories.)

In 2002, Perry told People that for a period, he was drinking “probably a quart of vodka a day.” He also took an “insane number of pills.” Even the most devoted Friends fans can probably understand that Perry might not want to return to a show that would remind him of that period of his life.

Matthew Perry recently returned to rehab

The BBC reports that Matthew Perry “has been in and out of rehab.” The actor also “joked in 2015 that he was an ‘award-winning alcoholic’ after receiving an accolade from California-based rehabilitation organization Phoenix House.” ABC reported in February 2018 that Perry had “returned to rehab for an undisclosed illness.”

In 2017, tabloid reports claimed that Perry “was suffering from everything from alcoholism, drug addiction, complications caused by a fad diet, or a serious condition that put him desperately in need of a liver transplant.” The actor himself said in 2017 that he developed acute pancreatitis. ABC characterized the condition as “a rare inflammation of the pancreas that was partially caused by too much alcohol and prescription pills.” Perry said at the time, “In my case, it was hard living and drinking hard and eating poorly.”

Read more: 7 Reasons Why Monica Geller is the Best ‘Friends’ Character

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