For the star of Friends, Matthew Perry, being sober also means sharing experiences and stories about his past abuse of alcohol, drugs and psychotropic drugs. In a recent interview for ABC, the actor he told without filters about his problems and how her friend and colleague, Jennifer Aniston.
“I was at the peak of my career with Friends – he recalled – but I felt alone and the only people I had contact with were my drug dealers”. And, in that period, the only one who had the courage to face him and put him in front of his responsibilities was Aniston: “She came up to me and said ‘we know you’re drinking.’ It was a scary time, but since then she has never left me alone. On the contrary, she was the person who made herself heard the most and I will always be grateful to her for that».
It was, in fact, the very celebrity and huge worldwide success that came to him from Friends to exacerbate his addiction problems, almost bringing him to a point of no return. As he said, when he was cast at 24 to play Chandler Bing he already had a drinking problem, but it was “pretty manageable.” To this were then added drugs and psychopharmaceuticals – “I was consuming 55 Vicodin a day,” he recalled – and, ten years later, the situation had spiraled completely out of control, having a huge impact on his work. “If I think back to Friends, my best season was ninth, filmed that very year I managed to stay sober. It seems to me no coincidence that he then earned an Emmy nomination for best actor. This made me think a lot,” he explained again.
In this tortuous path, the only constant was the help of Jennifer Aniston and fellow Friends costars who, as he likes to recall, have always been patient and understanding with him, helping him battle his issues.
Now, with years of sobriety behind her and a newfound serenity, Matthew Perry he no longer wants to keep silent about what he had to face: «Secrets kill. Secrets kill people like me”he always told the ABC microphones, hoping that the power of sharing and narrating his experiences could help those who are experiencing something similar.