Lisa Kudrow’s forward in her Friends co-star Matthew Perry’s memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing proved how close the two were offscreen and how seriously Perry battled addiction.
Perry’s book, which was released November 2022, details his childhood, rise to fame, and subsequent troubles with drugs and alcohol. Thanks to his massive popularity as Chandler Bing, his time with Friends fills a large section of the project. Naturally, his fellow stars had an inside look at Perry’s life during that phase. So it is fitting that Kudrow would author his forward, which began with “How’s Matthew Perry doing?”
“Over the many years since I was first asked, it’s been, at different times, the most asked question for me. I understand why so many people asked it: they love Matthew, and they want him to be OK. Me too,” she continued, via The Messenger. “But I always bristled at that question from the press because I couldn’t say what I wanted to say: ‘It’s his story to tell, and I’m not authorized to tell it really, am I!’”
Lisa Kudrow Focused on the Matthew Perry Who Made Her ‘Laugh So Hard’ She ‘Cried’
The late actor was open about his struggles with addiction, both for himself and others who fought the same battle. However, it took years before he ultimately came forward with the truth. Because he was famously close with all of his former castmates, the public and media assumed those actors would be able to share intimate details about how his addictions escalated. But that wasn’t the case.
“I wasn’t exactly sure how Matthew was doing,” Kudrow admitted. “As he’ll tell you in this book, he was keeping it a secret. And it took some time for him to feel comfortable enough to tell us some of what he was going through.”
She continued, “Over those years, I didn’t really try to intervene or confront him because the little I knew about addiction was that his sobriety was out of my hands. And yet, I would have periods of wondering if I was wrong for not doing more, doing something. But I did come to understand that this disease relentlessly fed itself and was determined to keep going.”
Lisa Kudrow wrote that she focused on being Matthew Perry’s friend. And she never let herself see him as a person who had to “deal with this disease.”
“I just focused on Matthew, who could make me laugh so hard every day, and once a week, laugh so hard I cried and couldn’t breathe. He was there, Matthew Perry, who is whip-smart… charming, sweet, sensitive, very reasonable and rational,” she added. “That guy, with everything he was battling, was still there. The same Matthew who, from the beginning, could lift us all up during a grueling night shoot for the opening titles inside that fountain.”
Matthew Perry passed away on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023. He was 54 years old.
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