Marta Kauffman Opens up About Concerns for Matthew Perry’s Sobriety During the ‘FRIENDS’ Reunion
FRIENDS creator Marta Kauffman has recently opened up about her past concerns for Matthew Perry's sobriety during the filming of the highly anticipated 2021 reunion special. This revelation comes in the wake of Perry's tragic passing at the age of 54 on October 29. In an interview on the Today show, Kauffman shared her heartfelt sentiments.
When asked about Perry's memoir, Kauffman stated that she felt worried for the actor: "I was concerned about him, knowing that he'd been through everything he'd been through." Kauffman was referencing Perry's very public struggle with addiction, which he bravely detailed in his new book Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, in which Perry offered an unflinching look at his battle with opioid addiction, including the ups and downs on his road to sobriety.
The FRIENDS reunion seemingly posed a different set of difficulties; Perry revealed that he had undergone 'emergency dental surgery' just days before the special's filming, which left Perry speaking less clearly. But he was determined to participate fully, which showed his devotion to the show and his friends. During an interview on Nightline, Perry opened up about how his dental surgery had a significant impact on his ability to speak. As per Page Six, he described the pain he felt as a burning sensation in his mouth, which made communication much more challenging for him. However, Perry was determined not to disappoint his fans or let down his fellow cast members from the iconic 90s sitcom.
Co-creator Kauffman also recalled her conversation with Perry just two weeks before his untimely passing. She shared, "He seemed better than I'd seen in a while. I was so thrilled to see that. He was emotionally in a good place." Kauffman expressed her joy at witnessing this change in him and emphasized Perry's commitment to overcoming difficulties by quitting smoking and maintaining sobriety as a testament to his resilience and ongoing pursuit of good health.
Perry's unfortunate demise last week was a deep shock to all those who knew him and loved him; this also includes Kauffman. She recalled her very first reaction to this heartbreaking news, saying, "My first impulse was to text him, honestly," as per Entertainment Weekly. She continued, "And then deep sadness. So much sadness. It's hard to grasp. You know, one minute he's here and happy, and then poof—and doing good in the world, really doing good in the world."
“We will always cherish the joy, light, the blinding intelligence he brought to every moment – not just to his work, but in life as well… This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.”⁰⁰— ‘Friends’ co-creators Marta Kauffman & David Crane on Matthew Perry’s tragic passing pic.twitter.com/UCpZMiWTVg— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) October 29, 2023
The news of Perry's death deeply saddened his FRIENDS co-stars – Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Courteney Cox. In a statement issued collectively by the cast members, they expressed their profound grief, noting, "We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew." They considered themselves not only colleagues but also a tight-knit family that shared a unique bond both on and off the screen.
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