When Jennifer Aniston Cried While Discussing ‘Friends’ Co-Star Matthew Perry’s Addiction Troubles
Matthew Perry's passing comes as a shocker to all his co-stars on Friends, but Jennifer Aniston is bound to be affected personally by this, given the close bond the two shared even off-screen. Perry, who was best known for playing Chandler Bing on the show, had long dealt with substance abuse issues and was most grateful to co-star Aniston for confronting him first. Aniston was always in Perry's corner, come hell or high water.
In an interview with US journalist Diane Sawyer on ABC back in 2004, Aniston broke down fearing what would happen to Matthew Perry if his addiction issues continued, per The Things. Aniston and the rest of the cast tried to help him, but since they weren't equipped with the skills to deal with it, they felt very helpless. "We didn't know," she said at the time. "We, you know, we weren't equipped, we weren't - to deal with it. You know, nobody had ever dealt with that and, you know, the idea of even losing him or," she cried, per Entertainment Tonight.
Perry himself remains grateful to this day for Aniston reaching out to him about his struggles. He revealed to Sawyer in a 2022 interview that Aniston had approached him initially about his issues during a break from filming on Friends. She allegedly said to her struggling co-star, “We know you’re drinking,” and the actor stated that it was a “scary moment” but one that demonstrated that she was a loyal friend, per News.com.au. “She was the one that reached out the most,” he said. “I'm really grateful to her for that.”
“I should have been the toast of the town, but I was in a dark room meeting with nothing but drug dealers and completely alone,” Perry said of his addiction struggles while filming.
In his biography Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, he later said that while he had believed he was disguising his drug and alcohol abuse well, he had eventually concluded that his co-stars were aware of his problems and were attempting to shield him. “[They] were understanding, and they were patient,” Perry said of his co-stars. “It’s like penguins. 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.”
Here’s my favorite moment from the ‘Friends’ reunion in 2021 - Matthew Perry talking about the special bond he shared with his co-stars: pic.twitter.com/q2q2e1KPWr— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) October 29, 2023
During the intensely emotional Friends TV reunion in 2021, the cast's close bond was evident as Perry broke down in tears while expressing his love for his co-stars. “The best way that I can describe it is after the show was over, at a party or any kind of social gathering, if one of us bumped into each other, that was it. That was the end of the night. You just sat with the person all night long and that was it,” he said.
“You apologized to the people you were with, but they had to understand you had met somebody special to you and you were going to talk to that person for the rest of the night. And that’s the way it worked.”
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