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    “I Didn’t Know How To Stop”: Matthew Perry Recalls Being An Alcohol Addict Before ‘Friends’

    Matthew Perry is a name that might not ring a bell right away. He was Chandler Bing in the NBC television sitcom ‘Friends‘. Now you know! The role catapulted him into stardom even years after the show went off the air. The show ran from 1994 to 2004 and last year had a reunion special.

    While the show and its actors were enjoying success, Perry was struggling with addiction. Just before the release of his new memoir ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, the 53-year-old actor talked about how he was already alcohol addicted before joining the show.

    Read More: ‘Friends’ Actor Matthew Perry Recalls When He Had “2 Percent” Chance Of Survival

    Matthew Perry Was An Alcohol Addict Before Doing ‘Friends’

    Matthew Perry And His Upcoming Memoir
    Matthew Perry And His Upcoming Memoir

    Perry is read with his memoir titled ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing’. Ahead of its release, the actor gave a cover story interview to People magazine to talk about things.

    When Perry was cast in ‘Friends‘, he was just 24 years old. The actor said that his alcohol addiction at that time had just surfaced. “I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble,” he said.

    But there were years that I was sober during that time. Season 9 was the year that I was sober the whole way through. And guess which season I got nominated for best actor? I was like, ‘That should tell me something,'” he explained.

    Things got progressively worse for him as time passed. “I didn’t know how to stop,” he said. “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. I couldn’t stop because the disease and the addiction is progressive. So it gets worse and worse as you grow older.”

    Read More: ‘Friends’ Co-Creator Marta Kauffman Donates $4 Million Out Of Guilt Over The Show’s Lack Of Racial Diversity

    Perry Only Had A “2 Percent” Chance Of Survival

    Matthew Perry And Matt LeBlanc
    Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry

    At one point, his addiction resulted in some medical complications and he was admitted to the hospital. “The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live,” he said.

    Perry continued, “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 was in the hospital for weeks after his colon-related emergency and he was comatose for two weeks. For a whole five months, Perry was in hospital care before he was given a colostomy bag for nine months.

    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,” he concluded.

    Read More: “That Was A Mistake”: ‘Friends’ Director Regrets Using Wrong Pronouns For Chandler’s Trans Parent


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