Skip to content

The Controversial Line Matthew Perry Is Editing Out of His Memoir

Future editions of the Friends star's book won't include bashing of another actor.

When Matthew Perry's memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing was released in November 2022, it made headlines for his candid discussion of drug and alcohol addiction, rehab, and the process of getting sober. But while many readers were struck by his candor and harrowing stories, there was one aspect of the book that got a much different response. In his book, Perry makes disparaging references to Keanu Reeves, which confused the public, since there doesn't seem to be much basis for the negative remarks.

After receiving backlash for slamming the John Wick star, who has a reputation for being one of the nicest people in the industry, Perry apologized. He also recently revealed that those lines will be edited out of subsequent editions of his book. Read on to find out more.

READ THIS NEXT: Steven Seagal Is "Ludicrous in Real Life," Co-Star Brian Cox Said.

Perry compared Reeves to stars who died tragically young.

Heath Ledger at the premiere of "Detroit Rock City" in 1999
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

In his book, Perry remembers several actors who died tragically young, including Heath Ledger, his Almost Heroes co-star Chris Farley, and his A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon co-star River Phoenix. For some reason, he compares them all to Reeves, who is 58.

"It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down. Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?" Perry writes (via Variety).

In another section, Perry writes about learning of Farley's death. The Saturday Night Live star died of a drug overdose in 1997. "His disease had progressed faster than mine had. (Plus, I had a healthy fear of the word 'heroin,' a fear we did not share)," he says in his memoir. "I punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston's dressing room wall when I found out. Keanu Reeves walks among us. I had to promote Almost Heroes two weeks after he died; I found myself publicly discussing his death from drugs and alcohol. I was high the entire time."

His name will be edited out of future editions.

Keanu Reeves at a screening of "John Wick: Chapter 4" in March 2023
lev radin / Shutterstock

Appearing at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on April 22, Perry shared that Reeves' name will be edited out of any future editions of his book.

"I said a stupid thing. It was a mean thing to do," Perry said, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. He also explained why he brought up the other actor in the first place. "I pulled his name because I live on the same street," he said.

"I've apologized publicly to him," Perry added. "Any future versions of the book will not have his name in it." He clarified that he hasn't had the chance to make amends to Reeves personally yet. "If I run into the guy, I'll apologize. It was just stupid," the Friends star said.

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

Fans were quick to defend Reeves.

Keanu Reeves at the premiere of "John Wick: Chapter 4" in March 2023
Joe Seer / Shutterstock

After quotes from the book released in October 2022, ahead of the book's official debut, Perry was criticized by supporters of Reeves. The show of love for the Matrix star included tweets from celebrity fans.

West Side Story actor Rachel Zegler tweeted, "personally thrilled that keanu reeves walks among us." Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter posted, "Come on… Keanu Reeves is like one of those frozen cakes. Nobody doesn't like him!"

Perry is "actually a big fan" of the Speed star.

Matthew Perry at the 2022 GQ Men of the Year Party
Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Perry preemptively apologized for the Reeves insult even before his book hit shelves. After those excerpts made the rounds online, Perry told People in a statement, "I'm actually a big fan of Keanu. I just chose a random name, my mistake. I apologize. I should have used my own name instead."

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