Matthew Perry once said he couldn't watch 'Friends' because he was 'brutally thin' and 'beaten down so badly' by addiction while filming

Matthew Perry (left); Perry as Chandler Bing on "Friends" (right).
Matthew Perry once said his appearance on "Friends" kept him from watching the show.Theo Wargo/Getty Images, NBC

Matthew Perry, the actor best known for his role as quick-witted Chandler Bing on "Friends," once said he couldn't watch the sitcom because his appearance was a reminder of his alcoholism and opioid addiction.

Perry, who died Saturday at age 54, made the revelation to podcaster Tom Power on CBC Radio while promoting his memoir, "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," in November 2022.

"I was taking 55 Vicodin a day. I weighed 128 pounds," Perry told Power. "I was on 'Friends,' getting watched by 30 million people, and that's why I can't watch the show. I was, like, brutally thin and being beaten down so badly by the disease."

According to the Los Angeles Times, police found Perry at his Los Angeles-area home around 4 p.m. on Saturday. Law enforcement sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation told the outlet Perry was discovered unresponsive in his hot tub. While sources didn't cite a cause of death, they said there was no foul play suspected, and no drugs were found at the scene.

In his memoir, Perry said he prayed for fame a few weeks before being cast in "Friends."

Perry wrote that he knelt and closed his eyes, praying: "God, you can do whatever you want to me. Just please make me famous." In his interview with Power, however, the actor said he quickly realized that fame wouldn't resolve his alcoholism or addiction.

"Alcoholism did not care that I was on 'Friends,'" he told Power. "Alcoholism wants you alone; it wants you sick; and then it wants to kill you."

Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing and Julia Roberts as Susie Moss on season two of "Friends."
Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing and Julia Roberts as Susie Moss on season two of "Friends."NBC

In an interview with Diane Sawyer last October, Perry revealed that he'd attended 6,000 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, detoxed 65 times, and went to rehab at least 15 times. He also said that he'd spent half his life in treatment or sober-living homes and that he'd undergone 14 surgeries.

He shared how his weight reflected his addiction during his interview with Sawyer, too.

"I weighed 155 pounds, on my way to 128 pounds," Perry said. "I feel too sorry for that guy, he's going through too much, and it's me. And I remember that, and I didn't understand what was going on. But again, I'm sorry, and I'm so grateful to not be that anymore."

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