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Addiction, ‘Friends’ and the biggest revelations – The Hollywood Reporter


In Matthew Perry’s New Memoir Friends, Lovers and Horror, the author and actor spends the majority of 250 pages discussing The Terrible. For the first time, he recorded his addiction in great detail; Perry’s struggles with alcohol and painkillers have been known to the public for decades, but the book only shows how close he is to the edge – and how often. Most of those revelations made headlines in the days and weeks before the memoir was published on October 28, including during the height of his addiction (and in many Friend five) he took 55 Vicodin tablets a day; that he had been in a coma several years ago and had undergone dozens of surgeries to repair his exploding colon; and it’s his Friend the main actors, especially Jennifer Aniston, continued to contact him and offer to help after the show’s finale (Lisa Kudrow wrote the foreword for the show’s finale). book).

But Perry also takes time in the book to reflect on his peak acting career. It’s not a Hollywood narrative in the traditional sense (most speak is used up with his stories of constantly coming back from the brink), but offers very specific puzzles that even the most convoluted stories Friend fans won’t know. Here are some key revelations from Friends, Lovers and Horror.

He is said to be in Don’t look up

While the Netflix apocalypse satire was in development, Perry had a meeting with an Adam McKay, which led to an offer to play the part. He will play a Republican journalist, in a small role that calls for some scenes opposite Meryl Streep (who plays a narcissistic comedic President of the United States). Perry was supposed to go to another rehab – this time in Switzerland, much further away than his previous stays – and recently broke eight ribs while on CPR. He took 1,800 milligrams of Hydrocodone, but flew to Boston to film. He worked on a group scene with Jonah Hill that never appeared on screen, and had to leave the set before working with Streep because of his injury. “So sad,” he wrote. “But I was in too much pain.”

Chandler’s speaking style started during the audition

Perry said that when he auditioned for the role of Chandler – the character that was ultimately chosen – in front of Friend co-creator Marta Kauffman, he “breaks all the rules”. For starters, he chose not to carry physical script pages with him, which is standard practice for admitting to a writer that a script is a work in progress. He also “reads words out of the blue, emphasizing things that no one else has.” He had a laugh that none of the actors considered had a laugh, and the role was his. In later years, he begged the producers to let him drop the Chandler beat for the last few seasons. “That particular rhythm – it can it is in any more upset? – was played to the point that if I had to emphasize the wrong place one more time, I think I would explode,” he wrote.

Courteney Cox sets the collective tone on Friend the set

When the sitcom started filming, Cox was easily the most popular of the bunch, thanks to her roles in Ace Ventura and Family relationship. But on the day the six co-stars gathered for the first time on the Warner Brothers stage in Los Angeles, Courtney said over lunch: “There are no stars here. This is a concert program. We all have to be friends.” As Perry explains, she saw a similarly dynamic game play out in a guest spot on Seinfeld – which he considers the beginning of the inseparable nature of the group.

Perry flirting with Julia Roberts begins with a facsimile about quantum physics

In season two, NBC planned a big post-Super Bowl episode about Friendand Julia Roberts agreed to guest-star – if she could be part of Chandler’s backstory. Marta Kauffman passed this on to Perry, along with a suggestion that he should send her flowers. He did, along with a card that read, “The only thing more exciting than the prospect of you being on the show is that I finally have an excuse to send you flowers.” She replied, via fax, that she would only agree to participate in the show if he “fully explained quantum physics to her”. And so their fax flirting was born. (He found a paper on the special duality of waves and the uncertainty principle to cross her path.)

Friend almost broke the fourth wall in season 8

In two guest episodes of Sean Penn, Perry introduced a closing scene for the Halloween episode that began with him backstage in the infamous rose bunny costume. “Sean walked by and I said, ‘Sean, can I talk to you for a minute?'” he wrote. “’I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I think you’re a good person to talk about this.’ I’m smoking a cigarette when I say this, and as I hold out my cigarette with my giant rabbit paw, I say, ‘I’m looking to transition into dramatic work.’ Sean Penn looked me up and down for about five beats and just said, “Good luck.” Friend there was a hard and fast rule to never break the fourth wall.

David Schwimmer proposes group contract negotiations

Friend made a lot of headlines in its final season with their collective salaries of millions of dollars per episode. However, according to the memoir, the collective bargaining on the spot began thanks to a cue from Schwimmer in season one. Perry writes that the actor who played Ross on Friend – and the show’s breakout star in those early episodes (he was also the first to shoot commercials, film his own movies, and buy his own home) – walked into Perry’s dressing room and suggested they negotiate. contract again as a group. , and insist that they all get paid the same amount. “It was a decision that proved to be extremely compelling,” Perry said. “David was definitely in the position of making the most money, and he wasn’t… that gives us a huge amount of power. By season eight, we were making a million dollars per episode; come season 10, we’ve earned even more than that. ”

Perry never filmed Friend while high

The actor is crude and honest about the many times he has used it, but he insists that he never used it while on set. “I never achieved high results while working,” he wrote. “I love those people – I want to always support them, and I’m second for the New York Yankees.” However, he did reveal about the times when he worked in a state of fatigue. At one point during the run of the show, Jennifer Aniston stepped into his trailer to tell him that the cast knew he had been drinking because they could smell him. He also used limos to book when he was too tired to drive, which he said gave him some “suspicious” looks: “People will ask me if I’m okay, but but no one wants to stop Friend train because it is such a money-maker. ”

Part 9 of Friend was the only year Perry was fully awake

The actor filmed the end of season seven, which included Chandler and Monica’s wedding, while living at a rehab facility in Malibu. By this summer through season eight, he’s back clean, and Perry says he’s stayed that way throughout season nine, which he describes as his most successful on the show — that It was also the only season in which he was nominated for a Best Actor Emmy. “What did I do differently that season? I heard. I don’t just stand there and wait for my turn to talk,” he wrote. (While recently promoting her book, Perry told The New York Times he’s been clean for 18 months, which means he just got out of drugs and alcohol when Friend reunion airs in May 2021. “I could have spent $9 million or something trying to come to my senses,” he estimates.)

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