‘Friends’ Star Matthew Perry reveals battling addiction & near-death experience

'Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing' is a tell-all from Perry, who shot to fame with his character Chandler Bing.

'Friends' Star Matthew Perry reveals battling addiction & near-death experience

Hollywood and ‘Friends’ star Matthew Perry has spoken up about his addiction journey and his near-death experience in his upcoming memoir, ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.’

The actor disclosed the challenges he faced when he hit rock bottom. He detailed how he was fighting for his life at the age of 49 when he nearly died. Doctors allegedly told his family he had a 2 percent chance to live. Perry was first admitted to the hospital from opioid overuse. During his rise to fame, the actor took 55 painkillers daily and slimmed down to 128 pounds.

'Friends' Star Matthew Perry reveals battling addiction & near-death experience
Image credits: CNN

The popular, long-running sitcom saw a tight-knit group of twenty-somethings steering their lives and careers in New York. The show debuted in 1994 and was responsible for launching many household names, mainly the core six cast members, which included Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel, Courteney Cox as Monica, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe, Matt LeBlanc as Joey, and David Schwimmer as Ross.

Even though Perry was one of the biggest actors in the ’90s, he struggled with drug abuse during the peak of his fame. According to People magazine, he said, “I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble.”

The Friends star states in the excerpt shared by People Magazine that when he was first cast on the series at the age of 24, he was just starting to struggle with alcohol addiction, which worsened as the series progressed. However, there were periods of soberness in between. He also mentions with a moving analogy that his co-stars supported him during the series’ run. Read the excerpt:

“I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble. But there were years that I was sober during that time. Season 9 was the year that I was sober the whole way through. And guess which season I got nominated for best actor? I was like, ‘That should tell me something. I didn’t know how to stop. If the police came over to my house and said, ‘If you drink tonight, we’re going to take you to jail,’ I’d start packing.”

He added, “I couldn’t stop because the disease and the addiction is progressive. So it gets worse and worse as you grow older. [His cast mates] were understanding, and they were patient. 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.”

Matthew will begin his month-long tour in November in New York and end in Toronto. Two events in Canada and New Jersey are already sold out.

‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing’ will release on November 1.

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