Matthew Perry Shared How Jennifer Aniston Confronted Him About His Addiction
“I’m really grateful to her for that.”
With his memoir out on Nov. 1, Matthew Perry continues to open up about his struggles with alcohol and opioid addiction. The actor did an interview with Diane Sawyer that will debut ahead of his book, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, on Oct. 28, and a new preview shares some of his raw, emotional answers. At one point, he tells Sawyer about the support he got from his Friends co-stars during his time on the show, and he shares that it was Jennifer Aniston who was especially supportive.
Sawyer brought up a section in his memoir where Perry recalls Aniston coming up to him and saying, “We know you’re drinking.” “Imagine how scary a moment that was,” he told the journalist of the interaction. “She was the one that reached out the most. You know, I’m really grateful to her for that.”
That’s not to say Aniston was the only cast member who was there for the actor. Speaking to People recently, Perry explained that he tried to keep his addiction hidden from his co-stars, but they caught on. They “were understanding, and they were patient,” he said. He then continued with a beautiful comparison to nature: “It’s like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That’s kind of what the cast did for me.”
That said, a source recently told Us Weekly that “it wasn’t always a bed of roses for Matthew on and off the Friends set.” He won’t “sugarcoat the tougher times that he went through with the cast” in his memoir, according to the insider. The 17 Again star previously admitted during a BBC interview that he doesn’t “remember three years” of working on Friends because he was “out of it.”
Perry also reflected further on those tough times during the Sawyer interview teaser, looking at the mismatch between where he was professionally compared to personally during the Friends years. “It’s the time I should have been the toast of the town,” he said. “[Instead] I was in a dark room meeting with nothing but drug dealers and completely alone.”
The actor went on to discuss how he “escaped death really narrowly” in 2018 when he fell into a coma that August. The medical emergency came after his colon burst from opioid overuse, per People, and the scare helped him get sober and eventually write about his experience with addition. “It was important to me to do something that would help people,” he told Sawyer.
Both the memoir and his upcoming sit-down with Sawyer will shed light on his battle. Matthew Perry: The Diane Sawyer Interview airs Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC News.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for substance use, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).