Matthew Perry recalls how the Friends cast supported his sobriety journey

The Canadian actor compared his cast member's support to penguins
October 24, 2022 12:00 a.m. EST
October 24, 2022 12:00 a.m. EST

Remember seasons three to six on the iconic 90s show Friends? The One Where No One’s Ready. The One With Ross’s Wedding. The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS?

Canadian legend Matthew Perry doesn’t remember any of them, even though he played Chandler on the show for a decade. 

In 2016,  the iconic actor revealed that he doesn’t remember those years due to his battle with substance abuse and addiction. And that period included two bouts in rehab, one in 1997 and another in 2001. Now, the wise-cracking funny man is revealing how his struggles affected his fellow castmates, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer.



"They were understanding, and they were patient," Matthew told People. "It's like penguins. In nature, when one is sick or very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up and walk around until that penguin can walk on its own. And that's kind of what the cast did for me."

Talk about “I’ll Be There For You.”



In particular, Matthew, who likes to go by Matty, revealed that it was Jennifer Aniston who really went out on a limb to check in with him regularly.

In an upcoming interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, he revealed that The Morning Show star, “was the one that reached out the most. I'm really grateful to her for that." 

He also hinted at a moment that he writes about in his memoir,  "Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing," in which Jen approached him and told him, "We know you were drinking." 


"Imagine how scary a moment that was," Perry reflected. 



In 2019, Matty’s colon burst, which was nearly fatal, and in treatment, he was in a coma for two weeks and was forced to wear a colostomy bag for a year. That prompted him to get sober, he told The New York Times, and he has since been sober for 18 months. 

“My therapist said, ‘The next time you think about taking OxyContin, just think about having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life,’” he told People. “And a little window opened, and I crawled through it, and I no longer want OxyContin.”

Matthew’s interview with Diane Sawyer airs on October 28, and his memoir,  "Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing," hits the shelves on November 1. 

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