Skip to content

Matthew Perry Says This "Friends" Co-Star Confronted Him About His Drinking

"She was the one that reached out the most. You know, I’m really grateful to her for that.”

Matthew Perry is continuing to share his story. In an interview with People published on Oct. 19, Perry opened up about his addiction to pills and alcohol and how the effects of that addiction landed him in the hospital for five months and a coma for two weeks in 2018. Now, ahead of the release of his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing on Nov. 1, the actor is also sitting down with Diane Sawyer to share more details about his struggles.

In a preview for the interview, which will air on ABC on Oct. 28, Perry talks about the Friends co-star who confronted him about his drinking and "reached out the most" when he was still abusing substances. Read on to see what the star had to say.

READ THIS NEXT: The Real Reason Kelly Ripa Stopped Drinking Alcohol.

Perry nearly died four years ago.

Matthew Perry at "The Kennedys: After Camelot" premiere in 2017
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

In his interview with People, Perry shared for the first time that he nearly died four years ago after his colon burst due to the overuse of opioids. He was in the hospital for five months and in a coma for two weeks. When he was first admitted to the hospital, "the doctors told [his] family that [he] had a two percent chance to live."

Perry told the magazine that he has had 14 stomach surgeries. "That's a lot of reminders to stay sober," he said. "All I have to do is look down."

At one point, he was taking 55 Vicodin each day.

In his interview with Sawyer, she lists off that Perry was "on Methadone, Xanax, a full quart of vodka a day." The Friends star said that there was a time when he was taking 55 Vicodin each day.

Reflecting on the time he was starring on the blockbuster his sitcom Perry said, "It's the time I should have been the toast of the town, I was in a dark room meeting with nothing but drug dealers and completely alone."

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

He said one Friends co-star confronted him about his behavior.

Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston at the premiere of "Kissing a Fool" in 1998
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Perry and Sawyer also talked about how Jennifer Aniston confronted him about his drinking at one point. According to The New York Times, Perry writes in his memoir that "in a kind of weird but loving way" Aniston told him that she and their co-stars knew he was drinking again. "'We can smell it,'" she said, Perry writes, adding, "[T]he plural 'we' hits me like a sledgehammer."

"Jennifer, she says, 'We know you're drinking,'" Sawyer recalled to Perry. He responded, "Yeah, imagine how scary a moment that was." He added, "She was the one that reached out the most. You know, I'm really grateful to her for that."

All of his castmates were supportive.

The "Friends" cast at the 1999 Screen Actors Guild Awards
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The rest of the Friends ensemble provided support, too. The New York Times notes that the cast confronted Perry together in his dressing room on another occasion.

Perry told People that his colleagues "were understanding, and they were patient."

"It's like penguins," the 53-year-old actor said. "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."

Another co-star wrote the foreword for his memoir.

Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Perry at the premiere of "Liar Liar" in 1997
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Lisa Kudrow wrote the foreword for Perry's book and spoke to The New York Times as part of the publication's interview with him. "It's a hideous disease, and he has a tough version of it. What's not changing is his will to keep going, keep fighting and keep living," she said. "I love Matthew a lot. We're part of a family. I'm basically ending this with 'I'll be there for you' [the Friends theme song], but it's true. I'll always be there for him."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under