Matthew Perry and alcoholism: “Jennifer Aniston told me, ‘We know you’re drinking.’ That ‘we’ was a blow to me”

Jennifer Anistonand not only her, knew well that the colleague Matthew Perry had a drinking problem at the time of Friends. He himself tells it in his autobiography Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing. From a professional point of view he was experiencing a golden moment, yet the actor was having to deal with some inner demons that had pushed him to develop an addiction to alcohol and opioids.

“I was at the peak of my career with Friends – said Matthew Perry – but I felt lonely and the only people I had contact with were my drug dealers”. However, there was someone who had the courage to face him and put him in front of a fait accompli, and it really was Jennifer Aniston: “She came up to me and he told me ‘we know you’re drinking’. It was a scary time, but it hasn’t left me alone since. Indeed, she was the person who made herself heard the most and I will always be grateful to her for that ”confided the actor. An earful for a good purpose, to demonstrate that the relationship that had developed between the members of the cast of the sitcom was one of sincere friendship. “How do you know? I’ve never worked drunk.” Perry replied, “We feel it” was the colleague’s reply. “She said it in a strange but loving way. The fact that she used that ‘we’ was a blow,” Matthew Perry admitted in the book.

In recalling that conversation he had with Aniston, the small-screen Chandler added: “I know I’m drinking a lot, but I don’t know exactly what to do.” In fact, his problems were exacerbated by the celebrity and success that had rained down on him since he had joined Friends. A situation that got worse as the seasons went on and that brought him to the brink of death: “Si could clearly observe the trajectory of my addiction from the trend of my weight from season to season. When I was heaviest, it was the period of greatest addiction to alcohol. When I was thinner, it was because of the pills.”

And again: “Since the third season, I spent most of my time understanding how can you take 55 Vicodin pills a day. I had to take 55 every day or else I was sick. It was a full-time job: making phone calls, seeing doctors, pretending to have migraines, looking up corrupt nurses who could have given me what I needed”. The path to sobriety has not been easy, but in this continuous ups and downs Matthew Perry has been able to count on the presence and support of Aniston, who – together with the other colleagues of Friends – has been able to stand by him helping him to find himself. I’ll be there for yourecited the theme song of the sitcom, and for once reality and fiction coincided.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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