Matthew Perry has already heard some of his Friends co-stars about her trending new book, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir, which arrived in bookstores on Tuesday. In it, he describes years of struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.
“Well, the book has been out for a day,” Perry deadpanned when asked about their answers on Wednesday during a livestream of the town hall At New York. “So I’ve heard from a few of them, which is really nice, and I’m sure I’ll hear from everyone. But that’s what’s amazing about what’s happening with this book. .He touches everyone’s heart.”
Perry later said that thousands of people had already come to him believing they could stop using substances because he had. He said he is now 18 months sober. During the livestream, he noted that he receives help on a daily basis.
He also answered a question about who would play him if the book was ever made into a movie.
The younger version of Perry would be played by none other than his co-star in the 2009 body swap movie 17 again.
“Well, Zac Efron did it once,” he said.
Perry said he would reprise the role later.
“I would play me after the coma and after that horrible night, five months in the hospital, and then I would take the role again, I guess,” he said, referring to one of the scariest stories that have emerged from the book.
In 2018, Perry spent five months in hospital recovering after his colon burst from opioid abuse. He was in a coma and on life support for two weeks. He underwent 14 operations. He also had to use a colostomy bag for nine months, which left him “covered in my own shit“, he estimated 50 to 60 times.
“The doctors told my family that I had a 2% chance to live“said Perry People. “I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and lungs. And it’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”
However, he admitted to having called his dealer when he got home.
In an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Perry also said that at one point he drank vodka by the pint and took 55 Vicodin a day. He would get the latter by faking back injuries and migraines – plus he “had eight doctors going at once” – or simply go to the open house and rummaging through medicine cabinets.
“I think they thought ‘Oh, there’s no way Chandler robbed us,'” Perry said.
In total, Perry said he spent $9 million sobering up, including countless stints in drug and rehab centers. In one of them, a treatment center in Switzerland, where he was still taking pills, his heart stopped beating for five minutes.
Looking back on all he’s been through, Perry told Sawyer he was grateful for his Friends co-stars, especially Jennifer Aniston. She is the one who “reached the mostand even confronted him with his problem.
Perry also opened up about his personal relationships over the years, including how him and Valérie Bertinelli once next to her then-husband Eddie Van Halen when he passed out, and how he lost his virginity to Tricia Leigh Fisher, half-sister of the late Carrie Fisher, after thinking for for years he was helpless.
He also lamented the loss of Phoenix Riverher co-star in A night in the life of Jimmy Reardon, who died in 1993. “It always seems like it’s the really talented guys that fall,” he wrote. “Why do original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?”
He has apologized for the Reeves reference since the snippet surfaced, saying he “randomly picked a name.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Treatment Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).