In a recent interview with ABC News’s Diane Sawyer, the late Matthew Perry, best known for his iconic role as Chandler Bing in the hit sitcom "Friends," opened up about the crucial support he received from his co-star and friend, Jennifer Aniston.
Perry, who tragically passed away on October 28 at the age of 54, shared his struggles with addiction and the role Aniston played in his journey toward sobriety. Perry candidly revealed that Jennifer Aniston was the castmate who reached out to him the most during his ups and downs in the battle against addiction.
He expressed his deep gratitude to Aniston for her unwavering support throughout the years. Aniston, who portrayed Rachel Green on "Friends," not only provided emotional support but also took the brave step of confronting Perry about his alcoholism while they were filming the beloved series.
Recalling that pivotal moment, Sawyer mentioned how Jennifer Aniston approached Perry, saying, "We know you're drinking." Perry reflected on the fear he felt at that time, realizing the gravity of his situation. Despite being part of one of the most successful TV shows in history, he found himself isolated, surrounded by drug dealers, and struggling with addiction.
Early Addiction Struggles
In his memoir, "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," Perry revealed that his battle with addiction began at a young age, with his first experience of drinking at just 14. Fame only exacerbated his problems, leading him to alcohol and eventually to an addiction to the opiate pain medication Vicodin after a jetski accident while filming a movie in 1996.
Perry's struggles with addiction were well-documented, and he openly shared that he would consume up to 55 strong painkillers a day during his darkest moments. His appearance became a telltale sign of his battles, as he mentioned, "When I'm carrying weight, it's alcohol; when I'm skinny, it's pills; when I have a goatee, it's a lot of pills." Following his untimely passing, tributes poured in from colleagues, friends, fans, and even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who remembered Perry as a childhood friend.
Hannah Waddingham, known for her roles in "Se* Education" and "Ted Lasso," praised Perry's comedy, honesty, and charisma. Paget Brewster, who portrayed Kathy on "Friends," highlighted Perry's legacy of helping others through his book and his enduring ability to make people laugh.
Matthew Perry's journey through addiction and his path to recovery, as well as Jennifer Aniston's steadfast support, serve as a poignant reminder of the challenges many individuals face and the importance of friendship and compassion during those struggles. His legacy as a beloved actor and a symbol of resilience will continue to inspire and touch the hearts of many.
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