Matthew Perry brought to verge of TEARS watching clip of himself emaciated from drugs on Friends: ‘I feel too sorry for that guy, he’s going through too much… and it’s me’

  • Perry, 53, shared details of his battle with substance abuse in his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, which drops November 1
  • In a snippet obtained by Page Six, the actor spoke out about how his addiction to opioids and alcohol affected the way he looked on screen 
  • He revealed that those watching the NBC comedy series can figure out how severe his drug use was based off his weight and beard length 
  • He said that in the episodes where he looked bigger in size, he was drinking a lot of alcohol, while in parts where he appeared skinnier, he was abusing pills 
  • Perry said his most severe drug use occurred when he grew a goatee; his addiction started in 1997 after he got into an accident and was given Vicodin
  • Now in a new interview on Good Morning America , Diane Sawyer showed him a snippet of footage of him looking ‘painfully thin’ on a Friends episode from 1997
  • ‘It’s very hard to watch that,’ Perry said: ‘because in this weird way I feel sorry for that guy, ’cause that’s a guy that’s out of control’
  • He added: ‘I feel too sorry for that guy, he’s going through too much – and it’s me’
  • During the same interview he revealed that his Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston confronted him about his substance abuse 
  • The comedian previously admitted that during the height of his career, he was taking 55 pain killers per day and dropped down to only 128 pounds

Matthew Perry was brought to the verge of tears while watching an old clip of himself on Friends, emaciated because of his drug addiction.

Perry, 53, has laid bare his battle with substance abuse in his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, out November 1.

In the book he noted that fans could tell which drug he was on based on his physical size onscreen: ‘When I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I’m skinny, it’s pills; when I have a goatee, it’s lots of pills.’

Now in a new interview for ABC News, Diane Sawyer showed him a snippet of footage of him looking ‘painfully thin’ on a Friends episode from 1997 – the year he first plunged into Vicodin addiction while recovering from a jet ski accident.

‘It’s very hard to watch that,’ he said, barely able to get the words out: ‘because in this weird way I feel sorry for that guy, ’cause that’s a guy that’s out of control.’

Tough: Matthew Perry was brought to the verge of tears while watching an old clip of himself on Friends, emaciated because of his drug addiction

Choking up, he continued: ‘I didn’t know what was going on with me. I weighed 155lbs on my way to 128lbs. 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.’

He reflected that ‘I’m so grateful to not be that anymore’ but confessed that even now ‘it’s hard to, it’s hard to watch that.’ 

During the same interview he revealed that his Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston confronted him about his substance abuse.

Perry was surprised, thinking he had been effectively concealing his drinking from the rest of the cast, but Aniston told him they could smell the alcohol on his breath.


Looking back: Now in a new interview for ABC News, Diane Sawyer showed him a snippet of footage of him looking ‘painfully thin’ on a Friends episode from 1997

Candid: ‘It’s very hard to watch that,’ he said, barely able to get the words out: ‘because in this weird way I feel sorry for that guy, ’cause that’s a guy that’s out of control’


Difficult to relive: Choking up, he continued: ‘I didn’t know what was going on with me,’ adding: ‘I weighed 155lbs on my way to 128lbs’

Sober: He reflected that ‘I’m so grateful to not be that anymore’ but confessed that even now ‘it’s hard to, it’s hard to watch that’

‘But I wasn’t in a position to stop, you know?’ Perry told Sawyer in his new interview. ‘And that’s what addiction is. But she was the one that reached out the most, you know. I’m really grateful to her for that.’ 

‘In nature, when a penguin is injured, the other penguins group around it and prop it up until it’s better,’ he writes in a snippet of the memoir obtained by Good Morning America. ‘This is what my co-stars on Friends did for me.’ 

In 2004, the year Friends ended, Aniston gave Sawyer an interview in which she broke down in tears discussing Perry’s struggles with drugs and drink.

‘I’m really grateful to her’: He revealed that his Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston confronted him about his substance abuse; they are pictured in 1995 before his addiction began

‘We didn’t know,’ she said. ‘We, you know, we weren’t equipped, we weren’t – to deal with it. You know, nobody had ever dealt with that and, you know, the idea of even losing him or….,’ she said, dabbing her eyes with a tissue. 

In an excerpt from the book obtained by Page Six, the actor spoke out about how his addiction to opioids and alcohol affected the way he looked on screen, and revealed how those watching the NBC comedy series can figure out how severe his drug use was based off his weight and beard length.

‘You can track the trajectory for my addiction if you gauge my weight from season to season,’ he wrote in the book.

Perry has shared a tongue-in-cheek guide to how you can tell what drugs he was using during his years in Friends, simply based off his appearance in the show 

Perry (seen in September), 53, laid bare the intimate details of his battle with substance abuse in his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, which drops November 1 

In a snippet obtained by Page Six, the actor spoke out about how his addiction to opioids and alcohol affected the way he looked on screen. He is seen in the show alongside Courteney Cox

‘When I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I’m skinny, it’s pills; when I have a goatee, it’s lots of pills.’

The actor became an international sensation practically over night after he landed the role as Chandler Bing in Friends in 1994.

Perry (pictured in the show in 2003) revealed that those watching the NBC comedy series can figure out how severe his drug use was based off his weight and beard length

But while he came off as the hilarious and heartwarming guy who always had a smile on his face on the screen, behind-the-scenes, the star was facing a downward spiral of drug addiction, alcohol use, and overdoses that left him with just a two per cent chance of survival.  

Perry told People magazine recently while discussing his book that he turned to drugs to deal with the immense fame and pressure that came with starring in one of the most popular shows of all time – revealing he needed 14 surgeries on his stomach and has been in rehab 15 different times as a result of his drug and alcohol use.

In 1997, Perry got into a jet ski accident and was prescribed Vicodin, a powerful and addictive pain medication – which would eventually turn into in a years-long battle with addiction. 


He said in the episodes where he looked bigger in size, he was drinking a lot of alcohol, while in parts where he appeared skinnier, he was using pills. He is seen left in 2002 and right in 1998

Perry added that his most severe drug use occurred when he grew a beard and mustache, explaining, ‘When I had a goatee, it was lots of pills.’ He is pictured in the show in 1996

The comedian admitted to the outlet that during the height of his career, he was taking 55 pain killers per day and dropped down to only 128 pounds. 

‘When it happens, it’s kind of like Disneyland for a while,’ he previously told the New York Times of his overnight success. 

Perry (seen in 2017) told People magazine recently while discussing his book that he turned to drugs to deal with the immense fame and pressure that came with starring in one of the most popular shows of all time – revealing he has been in rehab 15 different times as a result of his drug and alcohol use

‘For me it lasted about eight months, this feeling of ‘I’ve made it, I’m thrilled, there’s no problem in the world.’ 

‘And then you realize that it doesn’t accomplish anything, it’s certainly not filling any holes in your life.’

He spent 28 days at a treatment center in Minnesota in 1997, but his struggles didn’t end there. 

In May 2000, his battle with alcohol and drug use had become so severe that he was admitted to the hospital with pancreatitis, a potentially deadly condition that develops from heavy drinking.

And while he insisted that he ‘never drank on set,’ he told the Times that he would often come to work ‘extremely’ hungover.

‘It’s so horrible to feel that way and have to work and be funny on top of that,’ the actor said, adding that he would sometimes find himself sweating and shaking on the Friends set.

‘I didn’t know how to stop,’ he also admitted to People. ‘If the police came over to my house and said, ‘If you drink tonight, we’re going to take you to jail,’ I’d start packing.’

While he was working on the movie Serving Sara in 2001, things became so bad that Perry realized he couldn’t go on like that any longer, and he decided to take a break from filming to go back to rehab. 

He stepped out of the spotlight for more than two months, before he returned to finish filming Serving Sara. 

The comedian admitted to the outlet that during the height of his career, he was taking 55 pain killers per day and dropped down to only 128 pounds. He is pictured in the show

Now, he told the outlet that he is ‘pretty healthy,’ and that he feels he is finally ‘safe’ from going back to the ‘dark side,’ but he didn’t reveal how long he has been sober. He is seen in 2019 

While it seemed to the public that Perry’s battles with addiction ended after that, he secretly almost lost his life a few years ago, at age 49, when his colon burst due to opioid overuse. 

He spent two weeks in a coma and five months in the hospital, and had to use a colostomy bag for nine months. 

‘The doctors told my family that I had a two per cent chance to live. I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that,’ he explained to People. 

Now, he told the outlet that he is ‘pretty healthy,’ and that he feels he is finally ‘safe’ from going back to the ‘dark side,’ but he didn’t reveal how long he has been sober. 

He added that going through the near-death experience helped open his eyes.

‘The next time you think about taking Oxycontin, just think about having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life,’ he recalled his therapist telling him, adding, ‘A little window opened and I crawled through it and I no longer want Oxycontin anymore.

‘There were five people put on an ECMO machine that night and the other four died and I survived. So the big question is why? Why was I the one? There has to be some kind of reason.’

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