Matthew Perry writes in his new book that by the time he was 49, he had spent more than half of his life in a treatment center or a sobriety center.Loan...Michelle Groskopf from the New York Times.
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217(Video) Matthew Perry opens up about addiction struggles | Nightline
Beverly Hills, CA - When I picture Matthew Perry, the actor often referred to as Chandler Bing, I see him sitting in Orange at Central Perk on a couch or two recliners in the apartment he shares with Joey Tribbiani.
I arrived at his 6,300-square-foot apartment in September, and after his sober partner escorted me through the driveway gate, I sat across from Perry, who sat on a white sofa in a white living room with the world of Friends. Very. difference. ", an NBC sitcom that ran for 10 seasons and made all six stars famous, rich and garnered countless memes. Perry, 53, is without Chandler, Joey, Monica and Faye. Bea, Rachel and Ross they had gathered to spend the first chapters of adulthood together, a red felt pool table that looked untouched. The room was well lit but not warm.
I've seen every episode of Friends three times on prime time, VHS, and Netflix, and I'm not sure I'd recognize Perry if I saw him on the street. If he was an energetic beagle in the era of must-see TV shows in the 90s, his full-body comedy is as memorable as his tone of voice that makes you "You can do [insert adjective] again" the new 'spoon » "Gag Me" - now more like an anxious pit bull, with matching wrinkles on his forehead.
As his former co-star Lisa Kudrow admits in the introduction to her memoir Friends, Lovers and the Terrible, the first question people ask about Friends is often, "Matthew Perry, how about this?"
Perry answers that question in his book Flatiron, out Nov. 1, which eloquently describes decades of cage fighting, alcohol and drug abuse. His addiction led to a medical adventure in 2018 that included pneumonia, a burst colon, a brief life support, two weeks in a coma, nine months with a colostomy bag, over a dozen stomach surgeries, and the realization that at 49, he had been through most of his life in a treatment center or sober people's center.
Most of them are described in the preamble. At one point, he wrote in parentheses: "Note: For the next few paragraphs, this book will be more of a biography than a memoir, because I'm no more."
The book is full of shocking revelations, including one about temporary erectile dysfunction caused by alcohol and another where Perry describes going to the dentist with his top teeth in a bag in his jeans pocket. (He bites into a piece of peanut butter toast, falls out and writes, "Yes, everything.")
Then, when he calms down, Perry begins to talk quietly about his substance abuse, at a volume that allows me not to worry about the recording equipment. He started drinking Budweiser and Andrés Duck at the age of 14 and gradually increased the amount by adding a quart of vodka, Vicodin, Xanax and OxyContin. He drew the line on heroin, a choice he believes saved his life.
“I would fake a back injury. I would fake a migraine. I would hire eight doctors at a time,” Perry said. “I woke up that day and had to take 55 Vicodin pills and figure out how to take them. When you're on drugs, everything is math. I go to this place and I have to get three. Then I go to this place and get five No, because I will stay there longer. It's tiring, but you have to do it or you'll get seriously ill. I don't do this to get high or to feel good. I'm definitely not a party person. I just want to sit on the couch, take five Vicodin and watch a movie. It was heaven for me. Not anymore.
Perry said he's been sober for 18 months, meaning he'll be drug and alcohol-free when Friends reunites in May 2021.
"I probably spent about $9 million trying to keep my sanity," he estimated.
Most addicts don't have the resources Perry has. However, they possess what he calls "the gift of anonymity" and his darkest moments are photographed, documented and sometimes ridiculed. In fact, Perry was less fond of secrecy because of her ties to Alcoholics AA, of which she sponsored three members. "This shows that there is a stigma that we need to hide. By the way, this is not a popular view,” he explained.
Perry's demeanor improves when we talk about his recent obsession with pickles. He built a yard in the house the Palisades moved into. He played with friends and hired professionals. "I thought it would be good to play pickleball before this interview to cheer me up, but basically I'm going to sleep on your lap," he said.
So what inspired him to write the book?
After a long hospital stay in Los Angeles, Perry began recording his life story in the Notes app on his phone. When he reached page 110, he showed it to his manager, who told him to keep writing. He works about two hours a day at the table, no more: "It's hard with all this."
Perry has written for television before (The Odd Couple, Mr. Sunshine), but "he's writing a book that I'd never thought of before," he says. "Every time I come across something I don't want to share, I think about the people I can help and that motivates me to act."
In the next hour, Perry revisited the idea of helping other addicts 15 times. The dedication on the front of the book reads: “To all who suffer. You know who you are."
“It's still progress day by day. Every day. It doesn't end with me doing it,” he said.
This memoir was written without the involvement of a ghostwriter, which is rare for a household name. Flatiron vice president and publisher Megan Lynch said of a proposal she read last year: “It's a real voice. It's clear that not only will he be sharing his time on the show, but it's also enlightening to share intimate details from his entire life. I don't write books about celebrities, and as an editor I want to be very selective about that. For me, it really reached my usual invisible level."
Lynch, who watched Friends aged 14 and credits it with giving her a vision of living in New York, added: “Unlike any other star she's ever worked with, Matthew Manuscript delivered. Deadline".
While Perry hopes that Friends, Lovers, and Something Terribly Great will disappear from bookstores with self-help chapters, Friends fans will find heartwarming pieces in this book. Perry describes with gratitude and enthusiasm the 10 seasons he worked with his partner, earning $1 million per episode.
He recalled one time Jennifer Aniston approached his trailer and said "in a weird but tender way" that he was known to be drinking again. "We feel it," he said as he typed, "plural 'hit me like a hammer." On another occasion the actors were in his dressing room with him and had a confrontation.
Perry also shared a sad bombshell about his on-screen marriage: “I married Monica and they sent me back to rehab — that was the height of my performance on 'Friends,' and that was my career. iconic moment of this iconic show - in a truck driven by a sober technician."
“It is a terrible disease and it has a serious version. What hasn't changed is his will to carry on, to fight and to live,” Kudrow said in a phone interview.
She added: “I love Matthew so much. We are part of the family. I basically ended it all with "I'll be there for you" (the "Friends" song), but it's true. I will always be with him."
Perry's childhood friends Christopher and Brian Murray shared this view. "He's been through more than anyone I've ever known and he's come out well," said Brian, the older of two brothers who knew Perry since first grade. Biking through rural Ottawa, the trio sang the theme song from The Rockford Files and mocked the beats Perry would later capture on Friends.
"A lot of things are hard to understand," Christopher said. “You wouldn't expect that from anyone. Basically, his character and heart are absolutely the same as when he was a child."
Perry says that failed relationships are one of the hardest things to write about ("I'm single, but there are some people on the payroll who can keep me safe"), though she hopes to get married and have children in the future. "I think I'm going to be a great dad," he said.
Eighteen years after the last episode of Friends, Perry is delighted with its endurance and popularity with the children of its original audience. "There were 15-year-olds around who saw me and wondered why I looked so old," he said.
When I mentioned seeing a young woman in a hotel gym wearing a Friends sweatshirt — it's rare to see 90s Thursday night NBC showing merchandise like E.R. laughed. "You must introduce me to this girl," he said. "Let's just say I know this guy and he's as lonely as they come."
Perry's honest, darkly humorous book has now earned him an honorary folding chair and shelf space.Dawid Carr,Carolina Knapp,Leslie Jamieson,Nick Chef,Sarah Hepolaand other authors who have studied momentary, all-out skirmishes in the recovery process.
"There was a lot," Perry wrote. "Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I was there, it exists. the conversation is over."
He said, “Now I feel better becauseGo outside.It is written on a piece of paper. The "reason" I live for is definitely to help others. "
Audio production by Tally Abecassis.
A version of this article has been published, Hello
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