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George Clooney says long-time friend Matthew Perry ‘wasn’t happy’ while filming ‘Friends’

Two-time Academy Award winner George Clooney has revealed that Matthew Perry “wasn’t happy” while working on his iconic ensemble sitcom “Friends.”

In a recent interview, the actor revealed that Perry had always wanted to be in a sitcom when growing up. In 1994, his dream came true when he got cast to portray the sarcastic and neurotic Chandler Bing in NBC’s “Friends.”

Friends lasted for 10 seasons and became one of the greatest TV shows of all time, breaking viewership records, receiving critical acclaim, and pioneering itself into pop culture history until today. Perry was propelled to worldwide fame as Chandler became a widely known and well-loved character in the series.

However, according to the “Ocean’s Eleven” actor, who starred in another hit NBC 90s drama “ER”, which was broadcast at the same time as Friends was released, the role did not bring Perry the happiness he had hoped for.

“He was a kid and all he would say to us, I mean me, Richard Kind and Grant Heslov, was, ‘I just want to get on a sitcom, man. I just want to get on a regular sitcom and I would be the happiest man on earth’,” he said. “And he got on probably one of the best ever. He wasn’t happy. It didn’t bring him joy or happiness or peace.”

Perry had been vocal regarding his severe struggles with addiction, particularly alcoholism which started when he was just 14 as well as drugs as he became dependent on Vicodin after a jet-ski accident in 1997.

The renowned actor further detailed, “We just knew that he wasn’t happy and I had no idea he was doing what, 12 Vicodin a day and all the stuff he talked about, all that heartbreaking stuff.”

“And it also just tells you that success and money and all those things, it doesn’t just automatically bring you happiness. You have to be happy with yourself and your life,” he continued.

Both were already close with each other even before their television breakthroughs which Clooney reminisced the first time they met.

“I knew Matt when he was 16 years old. We used to play paddle tennis together. He’s about 10 years younger than me. He was a great, funny, funny, funny kid,” the actor explained.

Perry was found dead in his hot tub on October 28, with the recent post-mortem examination released on December 15, confirming that his death was due to “acute effects of ketamine.” In addition, the effects of buprenorphine, drowning, and coronary artery disease greatly contributed to his death.

The celebrity is reported to have been receiving ketamine-assisted psychotherapy sessions to treat anxiety at the time of his death, his last known activity which occurred a week before his passing. However, the autopsy further stated, “The ketamine in his system at death could not be from that infusion therapy since ketamine’s half-life is 3 to 4 hours, or less.”

In his 2022 best-selling memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing”, the Ottawa-based actor expressed how he hoped to use his experience and struggle to help others.

He wrote, “The best thing about me, bar none, is that if somebody comes to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?’ I can say ‘yes’ and follow up and do it.”

“When I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that’s mentioned. I want that to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m gonna live the rest of my life proving that,” Perry added.


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