Matthew Perry nearly lost out on playing Chandler Bing on Friends, the role that made him a household name. Perry shared in his 2022 memoir that just three weeks before his audition for the iconic role of Chandler on the popular NBC comedy series, he was in his modest Los Angeles apartment, reading a newspaper article about fellow actor Charlie Sheen.
“It said that Sheen was yet again in trouble for something, but I remember thinking, Why does he care — he’s famous,” Perry penned in his memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. “Out of nowhere, I found myself getting to my knees, closing my eyes tightly, and praying. I had never done this before.”
Perry’s prayer was straightforward. “God, you can do whatever you want to me. Just please make me famous.” Just three weeks later, Perry got the call for Friends. However, the divine gift wasn’t without a price. “The Almighty, being the Almighty, had not forgotten the first part of that prayer as well,” Perry quipped.
Matthew Perry was Attached to Another Show When ‘Friend’s Came on His Radar
In 1994, Matthew Perry faced a pivotal moment in his career when he almost missed out on the opportunity to play Chandler on Friends. At the time, he found himself struggling to secure work, as his manager, who he described as “terrible,” informed him that he was financially strained.
Perry recounted the story during a 2015 appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers. “So I called my agent and said ‘You’ve got to get me any job, any job you can,’” he told Meyers. “This happened to be the year that Friends was shot, but I was off the market because I had taken a job on a pilot called LAX 2194 that was about baggage handlers at L.A. Airport in the year 2194.”
That’s when the script for the pilot script for Friends popped up. “It was hilarious and great,” Perry recalled. “There was this part that was perfect for me and it was making me crazy that I couldn’t go up for it because [of] the baggage handlers show. I was losing my mind.”
Fortunately, TV executives considered LAX 2194 terrible, which gave Matthew Perry the chance to pursue the Friends role. The rest is history.
Perry, who was 54 years old, was found dead at his residence in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 28, 2023. The sudden news of the Emmy-nominated actor’s untimely death has left fans and co-stars in a state of shock, leading to tributes from around the globe.
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