While the rest of the world can’t get enough of Friends, Matthew Perry hasn’t tuned in for a rewatch yet!
In a candid conversation with CBC Radio’s Tom Power late last month, the sitcom star opened up about why he can’t bring himself to revisit the series — and it’s actually kind of heartbreaking! The 53-year-old revealed:
“I can’t watch the show, because I was brutally thin and being beaten down so badly by the disease.”
Oof. So tough.
As Perezcious readers know, the actor was facing a years-long battle with addiction throughout his time playing the beloved character Chandler Bing on the highly-successful show. Sadly, it’s hard for him to reminisce on the past since whenever he looks at old episodes he can pinpoint exactly what substance he was abusing at the time — whether it be alcohol, opiates, or cocaine. He shared:
“I could tell season by season by how I looked, and I don’t think anybody else can, but I certainly could. That’s why I don’t want to watch it because that’s what I see — that’s what I notice when I watch it.”
Yeah, that would be so challenging to see, especially as he’s been working hard on his sobriety! Interestingly, the Serving Sara star isn’t opposed to watching the show forever and actually has the desire to walk down memory lane again, adding:
“I think I’m going to start to watch it, because it really has been — first of all, it was an incredible ride — but it’s been an incredible thing to watch it touch the hearts of different generations.”
Since the show has “become this important, significant thing,” he’s feeling the urge to “watch that again.” It helps that he still has such a close bond with his cast members, the 17 Again alum described:
“It was really funny and all the people were nice, and I’ve been too worried about this, and I want to watch Friends, too.”
Matthew has been reliving his past a lot lately as he promotes the release of his new memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, including revealing deets about his short-lived romances with Cameron Diaz and Julia Roberts, as well as opening up about his important friendship with his co-star Jennifer Aniston. Not to mention finding himself in the hot seat for some questionable comments about Keanu Reeves!
This after the Friends cast reunited for a televised special last year to celebrate the ongoing success of the series. Throughout the filming of the HBO Max reunion and working on his book, we’re sure the American-Canadian performer slowly had to get used to seeing his younger self on screen again, so it’s not surprising to hear he’s warming up to the idea of a full rewatch. Hopefully, when the day comes, he’s able to enjoy the legacy he’s left behind without being too critical of himself and his struggles at the time. To hear more about this thought process, watch the full interview (below).
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If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse, help is available. Consider checking out the resources SAMHSA provides at https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline.