Despite Fame And Fortune, 'Friends' Star Matthew Perry Has Had A Tough Life

Although we already knew that was the case, it was just confirmed again by Ranker that everybody loves Friends. It's true.

And everybody who loves Friends also loves Chandler. He might not be as cool as Joey or as smart as Ross, but he might just be the nicest of the three of them - plus he's 'the funny one'.

And his romance with Monica - the love of his life - wasn't anywhere near as convoluted, difficult or dramatic as the whole Ross and Rachel saga. You just believed in their love because it was well portrayed.

Credit: Warner Bros.
Credit: Warner Bros.

But in the real world, Matthew Perry - the actor who played Chandler - had anything but a perfect life. Yes, he was rich thanks to the show's runaway success and the astronomical fees the six actors ended up earning for each episode, but he was heavily addicted to painkillers.

After being heavily injured in a jetski accident in 1997, his doctor prescribed him Vicodin. The problem was that he didn't stop taking them after he didn't need to anymore. Rather, he got hooked on them.

In a 2013 interview with People magazine, Perry said that because of the pills he 'felt better than [he] ever felt in [his] entire life'.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

That's not where it stopped, however, and in the interview he goes on to say he had a 'big problem with pills and alcohol' and that he 'couldn't stop'.

Which is the reason his weight fluctuated so much throughout different seasons of the programme. But while he seemed in good spirits on the show, offscreen it was a totally different story, as he told People.

"From an outsider's perspective, it would seem like I had it all," he said. "It was actually a very lonely time for me because I was suffering from alcoholism. It was going on before Friends, but it's a progressive disease."

It got so bad, in fact, that he told the BBC he had no recollection of three seasons of Friends because of his addictions. That said, he claimed he was never high or drunk on set - just incredibly hungover.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Perry had a couple of stints in rehab to try and help himself out of his hole, but developed acute pacreatitis and had to be hospitalised for two weeks, which caused him to lose a severe amount of weight.

If that wasn't enough, after Perry left hospital he crashed his car into an empty house - thankfully he was uninjured and no drugs or alcohol was found in his system. Still he ended up in rehab once more, but that was the last time.

He has since gone on to help others face and battle their addictions. He founded a rehab centre of his own called The Perry House, although he has since shut it down. Still, the Obama Administration awarded him the Champion Of Recovery Award, which he was presented with at The White House. We think it's well-deserved.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros. / PA

Mischa Pearlman

Mischa is a freelance journalist usually based in either New York or London. He has written for Kerrang!, Record Collector, NME, the New York Observer and FLOOD magazine, among others. Contact him at [email protected]

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