Matthew Perry sat down for a very personal interview with Diane Sawyer on Friday, Oct. 28, ahead of the release of his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir, which will be available for purchase on Nov. 1.
As the duo discussed excerpts from the book, Perry opened up about in heartbreaking detail about his battle with addiction, both in pill form and alcohol, which was the cause of near-brush with death.
Nothing was off limits as the man who made Chandler Bing a fan-favorite character reflected on his struggles, traumas, insecurities, the tough road to recovery, and being on the other side.
While he admitted that it isn’t easy to talk about the hold addiction has had on his life, nor is it something he likes to do, he knows it’s important because it could help others who are suffering.
In fact, he clarifies that the next part of his journey is being there for others because he’s been there; he knows how hard each day is and he has a lot of experience dealing with all of the ups and downs.
We’re breaking down some of the other shocking and critical moments from the interview:
Where It All Started
Perry pinpoints an accident while he was filming Fool’s Rush In alongside Salma Hayek in 1997 as the start of his pill addiction. It’s when he got his first Vicodin and liked how it felt. He hoped it could help curb the drinking while also taming the fear and self-doubt, but before he knew it, it took over with a “vengeance,” he explained. As his body built up a tolerance, he took more pills to stave off the “absolutely terrible” symptoms of withdrawal. Eventually, he ended up taking 55 Vicodin a day.
He Would Raid Medicine Cabinets at Open Houses
Obtaining 55 Vicodin pills a day is not an easy feat. When asked how he would go about getting them, Perry bluntly stated that he had no choice as he would wake up every day knowing that if he didn’t get them, he would be really sick. And trying to avoid withdrawal symptoms motivated him to do whatever was necessary to score, including visiting multiple doctors and faking back injuries and headaches. He copped to getting MRIs done knowing well that there was nothing wrong with him in that sense.
But the revelation that made jaws drop was that he would go to open houses to see what pills people had in their medicine cabinets and steal them. And he hid behind the fame noting that people would never assume “Chandler came in and stole from them.”
How It Affected His Co-Stars
The cast of Friends was aware of his struggles and they were very worried about him, but they didn’t exactly know how to help. They all wanted to “help their friend in a giant battle” and wondered if there was a “right” thing that they should’ve done. Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel on the hit sitcom, even told Sawyer in a 2004 interview when his struggle became public that the cast was not “equipped to deal with it” as no one had ever experienced or dealt with it before.
Chandler Is Affected by Perry’s Battle
While it wasn’t overly evident to fans at the time, Perry’s character underwent a lot of changes throughout the sitcom’s 10-year-run, with the actor noting that fans could gauge his weight to track the trajectory of his addiction. When he was skinny, it was pills, when he was a little heavier, it was alcohol.
Perry agreed to watch a scene alongside Sawyer during which he was “painfully thin,” and he was visibly alarmed by it, simply stating that he “felt sorry for that guy” who was “out of control” and didn’t “know what was going on with him.”
He added that he’s “grateful not to be that anymore.”
He also acknowledged another scene, the one where Chandler and Monica get married, adding that he could watch it over and over again because he looked good and was sober. He also noted how strange it was to film that season with Chandler experiencing marriage and children while in real life, Perry was being brought to set from a rehab facility.
He’s Not Giving Up on Love
Perry dated a lot of wonderful and incredible women throughout his life, but even when the relationships were going well, he would self-sabotage because of his own insecurities. At 53, he still has hopes of finding love and starting a family. He also explained he’s much more secure with himself, fully knowing that while it’s great to make women laugh—it brings him light—he doesn’t have to do it or prove himself to anyone.
He Almost Died
Years of various drugs and copious amounts of alcohol led to a paralyzed digestive system in 2018. He was rushed to the hospital as his colon exploded. He was on life support, put on an ECMO machine, which he explained was a “hail mary,” and in a coma for 14 days. He recalls there being 5 people on ECMO at the same time in the hospital, and he was the only one that survived despite his chances being a mere 2%.
Perry explains he “escaped death narrowly,” which was also a wake-up call. As he was surrounded by his loved ones and family, he was determined to get better.
He also revealed his spirituality, crediting a “strange golden light” with saving his life and informing him that he’s “accepted, loved and that it will be ok.”
How Will We Know If He’s Not Okay?
Sawyer asked the important question, which stumped Perry for a moment before he explained that if he ever states, “I’m just gonna chill at home tonight,” it’s a red flag. If he ever says that he’s “cured,” it’s a cry for help.
“And spume,” he joked, which got Sawyer laughing.
She noted they could’ve had a “historic ending,” but Perry informed her “that’s not me.”
And he’s still the Chandler Bing we’ve all come to love… but now with a moving and empowering tale of hard-earned sobriety.
We’re all rooting for you, Perry! You always got us.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with substance use disorder, confidential, free help is available at FindTreatment.gov. Or call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357). Or for immediate help in a crisis situation call or text The National Crisis Lifeline at 988.
When Does ‘Firefly Lane’ Season 2 Come Out?
The wait is almost over!
Netflix is allowing fans to reunite with the Firefly Lane girls on December 2, 2022!
FireFly Lane Season 2 Part 1 will debut on Friday at 12 a.m. PT (3 a.m ET and 2 a.m. CT) on the streaming service, and while that may be very late in the night, the good thing is you’ll have all weekend to catch up with Tully (Katherine Heigl) and Kate (Sarah Chalke).
Why Is Kate Mad at Tully at the End of Firefly Lane Season 1?
The biggest question on everyone’s mind is why is Kate so mad at Tully. At the end of the first season, it’s revealed that Kate’s father, Bud, died, but when her best friend Tully arrives at the church, Kate tells her that she has “some nerve showing up here.” Season 2 Part 1 will hopefully answer what led to the rift between Kate and Tully in 2004/2005.
How Many Episodes in Firefly Lane Season 2 Part 1?
The season will have a total of nine episodes.
Part 2 of the season is set to arrive sometime in 2023 with episodes 10 through 16.
Who Died on Firefly Lane Season 1?
Bud, Kate’s father, passed away in the first season. Kate and Tully are at his funeral when it’s revealed that they are not on speaking terms anymore despite a decades-long friendship.
Firefly Lane Season 2 Cast
The key cast of the upcoming second season includes:
- Katherine Heigl – Tully Hart
- Sarah Chalke – Kate Mularkey
- Ali Skovbye – ’70s Tully Hart
- Roan Curtis – ’70s Kate Mularkey
- Ben Lawson – Johnny Ryan
- Beau Garrett – Cloud/Dorothy Hart
- Yael Yurman – Marah
- India de Beaufort – Charlotte/Charlie
- Greg Germann – Benedict Binswagner
- Jolene Purdy – Justine Jordan
- Ignacio Serricchio – Danny Diaz
Firefly Lane Season 2 Synopsis
What could possibly have ended the tight-knit thirty year friendship of Tully and Kate, our “Firefly Lane Girls Forever?” We’ll learn the answer this season — but first — Kate grapples with the painful aftermath of Johnny’s ill-fated trip to Iraq, while Tully faces a lawsuit after walking away from her talk show, and must start her career over from the bottom. This leads her to search for answers about who she is and where she comes from — including a quest to find the father she never met, against the wishes of her secretive hippie mother, Cloud. In the ’80s, we see Kate and Johnny first fall in love, creating more than a little drama in the newsroom where they work, as Tully’s career rises and she spars (and flirts!) with cocky sportscaster Danny Diaz. She just might have met her match — that is, if they can stop arguing for five minutes. While in the ’70s, teenage Kate and Tully struggle to keep their friendship together as Cloud goes to jail for dealing drugs and Tully goes to live with her grandmother, far away from Firefly Lane. As the girls face the tumult of high school apart, they know the one thing they really need is each other.
Firefly Lane Season 2 Trailer
‘Emily in Paris’ Season 3—Premiere Date and Trailer
Netflix is giving Emily in Paris fans the best holiday gift of all—a brand new season.
The third season of the Paris-set dramedy is set to premiere on Wednesday, December 21.
Fans can also unwrap an early gift as the streamer just dropped the trailer for the new season, which reveals Emily Cooper (Lily Collins) is pulling double-duty in both her professional and personal life.
Her indecision has left her in a bit of a mess, as she’s now juggling two jobs—her old gig with Madeline (Kate Walsh) and a gig at Sylvie’s new agency (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu). On top of it, her heart is also being pulled in two different directions as she’s torn between chef Gabriel (Lucas Bravo) and businessman Brit Alfie (Lucien Laviscount).
And based on the 2-minute trailer, her decisions will have plenty of consequences.
But don’t think that Emily isn’t carving out time for prioritizing life, as Parisians do, as she informs her gal pal Mindy (Ashley Park) that she’s all about “life” right now.
The work-life balance includes stunning vacations (and a balloon ride), incredible outfits, plenty of champagne, and much more.
As the trailer suggests, choose Paris… on December 21!
The CW Reveals 2023 Midseason Premiere Dates—See the Lineup
The wait for some of your favorite CW dramas—the ones that survived, at least—is almost over.
The CW revealed the upcoming 2023 midseason premiere dates for shows like Walker, Walker: Independence, Kung Fu, All American, and more.
Here’s when The CW’s scripted dramas will return:
THURSDAY, JAN. 12
8 pm Walker (midseason premiere)
9 pm Walker: Independence (midseason premiere)
SATURDAY, JAN. 14
8 pm Criss Angel’s Magic With the Stars (midseason premiere)
9 pm World’s Funniest Animals (midseason premiere)
9:30 pm World’s Funniest Animals (encore episode)
SUNDAY, JAN. 15
7 pm The 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards
FRIDAY, JAN. 20
8 pm Penn & Teller: Fool Us (midseason premiere)
9 pm Whose Line Is It Anyway? (midseason premiere)
9:30 pm Whose Line Is It Anyway? (encore episode)
MONDAY, JAN. 23
8 pm All American (midseason premiere)
9 pm All American: Homecoming (midseason premiere)
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24
8 pm The Winchesters (encore episode)
9 pm The Winchesters (midseason premiere – new timeslot)
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 8
9 pm Kung Fu (midseason premiere)
SATURDAY, FEB. 11
8pm Masters of Illusion (Season 9 premiere)
8:30 pm Masters of Illusion (encore episode)
9 pm World’s Funniest Animals (new episode)
9:30 pm World’s Funniest Animals (encore episode)
From the looks of it, the final seasons of Riverdale and Nancy Drew, along with the third season of Superman & Lois, are being held till later in 2023, so stay tuned for updates!
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