Matthew Perry sat down with Diane Sawyer for an intimate ABC night line interview last week in which the Friends alum, 53, opened up about his near-death experience due to drug addiction, and the effects his battle had on his overall health. Many fans have expressed concern for Perry’s well-being in recent years, especially after hearing his slurred speech in interviews. Perry told Sawyer, 76, how his dental surgery just before May 2021 Friends the reunion affected his ability to speak, along with other shocking revelations ahead of the Nov. 1 release of his new book, Friends, lovers and the big terrible thing: a memoir.
Perry’s slurred speech, dental surgery and Friends Meeting
In the interview, Sawyer referred to the noticeable “wear and tear” to Perry’s “voice and speech” while listening to him, and the 17 again The actor explained that he needed to have all of his teeth replaced last year during major surgery. This naturally affected his speech, and happened just before the long-awaited Friends reunion special in which Perry was expected by fans to join iconic sitcom cast members Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc.
Perry detailed having had to undergo “emergency dental surgery” just days before filming the reunion. “They did all kinds of things,” Perry told Sawyer, adding that the procedure “made [his] mouth feeling like fire. Perry explained that he wanted to make an appearance despite this, although his delivery inevitably worried fans. “It sounded like my voice was off,” he acknowledged, but confessed he felt he “couldn’t not show up.” Perry continued, “So what I chose to do is just go and do my best,” he told the longtime interviewer, who noted “the wear and tear of his voice and his speech”.
Perry recently revealed he had been substance-free for 18 months and was newly sober when the reunion aired. Later in the interview, Perry opened up about his front teeth falling out while biting into peanut butter toast, and having to have all of his teeth replaced as a result. The Emmy winner explained that he had to carry his teeth in his jeans pocket on the way to the dentist to get them fixed, which made for an understandably stressful and traumatic situation.
Support of Friends Perry’s Castmates and Behind-the-Scenes Battle Details
Perry’s addiction to pills began at the height of his fame due to the beloved NBC show, when he became addicted to Vicodin following a jet ski accident in 1997. He later told Sawyer and viewers that he had his first drink when he was 14 and remembered feeling like he was “in heaven.” By the time he turned 18, he was drinking “every day”.
During his interview with Sawyer, Perry tearfully expressed his co-star Aniston’s support for him and urged him to get help for his addiction. He recalled a time when the Golden Globe-winning actress came to his trailer and told him the cast could smell alcohol on him. He said, “She’s the one that’s reached out the most, you know. I’m really grateful to him. Perry admitted that throughout his experience filming the hit series, the cast had to “support [him] up,” and that his producers also confronted him about his notable addiction.
Perry tried to deal with this by making a rule for himself. He said: “I made a rule that I would never drink or take anything at work, so I would, but blindly show myself hungover. Like tremors and a crazy hangover. He noted that after being prescribed painkillers in 1997, he took about 55 pills a day and did everything he could to get the drugs from doctors, including MRIs for “fake migraines.” He also confessed to frequenting “open houses” to find pills in bathrooms to “steal” them. He added: “I think they thought ‘Oh, there’s no way Chandler robbed us. “”
Perry’s message to fans
Perry admitted to Sawyer that “it’s not fun to talk about stuff like that,” regarding his personal life, his battles with drug addiction and alcoholism, but that he ultimately wanted to talk about it in order “to help people” who are also going through similar brutal and exhausting experiences. situations. Perry told Sawyer that he had attended about 6,000 AA meetings, been in therapy for 30 years, spent half his life in treatment, and been to rehab about 65 times.
After 15 stints in rehab, fans will be relieved to know that Perry has since maintained his sobriety and is determined never to fall back down an unhealthy or toxic path again. The Fools rush star recalled, “I wasn’t doing [drugs] feel good or feel good. I was definitely not a party animal; I just wanted to sit on my couch, take five Vicodin and watch a movie. He then added: “It was heaven for me. This is no longer the case.