George Clooney has revealed that his close friend Matthew Perry was not content during his time on the hit sitcom Friends. Despite being part of a successful NBC series, Clooney, who was “really close” with the Friends group, shared insights into Perry’s struggles.
Clooney, 62, reflected on their longstanding friendship in an interview with Deadline. He says the two first met when Perry was just 16 years old. Recalling their shared passion for paddle tennis, Clooney described Perry as a “great, funny, funny, funny kid” who was about 10 years younger.
According to Clooney, Perry expressed a strong desire to secure a regular role on a television show during their early interactions. “All he would say to us 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,’” Clooney recounted, emphasizing Perry’s aspiration.
George Clooney Remembers Matthew Perry
Despite achieving his goal with a starring role as Chandler Bing on Friends, Perry did not find the happiness he had anticipated. Clooney, who spent considerable time with Perry on their adjacent sets due to ER and Friends being recorded “side by side” on the same NBC soundstage, observed that Perry “wasn’t happy” after landing the iconic role.
The period of Friends‘ success, spanning from 1994 to 2004, coincided with Clooney’s time on ER, which ran from 1994 to 2009. Clooney, in a surprising turn of events, made a guest appearance on a Friends episode in 1995.
Reflecting on Perry’s internal struggles, particularly with addiction, Clooney expressed the difficulty of witnessing Perry’s unhappiness. He explained that Perry’s battles with addiction were unknown to them at the time, and it was challenging to comprehend what he was going through.
In light of Perry’s untimely death at the age of 54 on October 28, Clooney emphasized the broader life lesson derived from Perry’s story. He noted that success, money, and external achievements do not automatically guarantee happiness; one must find contentment within oneself and one’s life.
Perry’s cause of death was initially “deferred” pending a toxicology report. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s report, released on December 15, revealed that Perry passed away from “the acute effects of ketamine.” This tragic revelation sheds light on the struggles Perry faced in his personal life despite outward success.