Sarcastic, Funny and a Raging Addict – The story of Matthew Perry
Success, popularity, money and love from the audience – Matthew Perry had it all, yet he used drugs and alcohol to fill up an empty hole, and fell down the same hole face first, before he realized it.
The absolute impersonation of sarcasm, Chandler Bing, is one of the most popular characters to come out of the 90s in pop-culture phenomenon. He was funny, he was relatable and his socially awkward personality became the new definition of attractive. We were all rooting for him. While his on-screen persona was getting so much love, the off-screen Matthew Perry was falling deeper and deeper down the trap of drugs and alcohol addiction. And before he knew it, he was captivated and tied down.
Matthew Perry’s addiction was so serious he says that he does not remember shooting any of Season 3 to Season 6 of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. While he has created some of the most memorable and funniest moments in those seasons – like the Monica-Chandler relationship, helping (or tolerating) Ross through his breakup with Rachel, helping Joey with his acting career and so much more, the actor remembers none of it. He says that he was hungover most of the time when shooting. While portraying the funny guy, he had taken his life as a joke.
Matthew’s addiction to Vicodin began with a jet ski accident in 1997. The drug was prescribed to him to make him feel better, and unfortunately for the actor, he felt better than he had ever felt in his “entire life.” And he got sucked deeper and deeper into the hole.
He could have stayed there. And gone further deep. Not come back. He so easily could have given up.
Being in the public eye, starring in the most popular show of the time and the constant scrutiny over his fluctuating body-weight and addiction, everything was working towards him not getting back up.
Do you think he gave in to the pressure?
No, he did not.
“It had become about life and death,” he says, talking about his addiction.
And he was right. If he had not come out of it, his life would have been in danger. Death was a scare. The only two options he had were to either give up on the drugs or give up on himself. He chose to give himself a chance and came back stronger.
For someone who was so successful at the time of his addiction, he had nothing to complain about. He says that he felt quite lonely and chose drugs and alcohol as an escape. When he decided to get better, he chose being lonely over being intoxicated, and that was a brave decision.
Matthew Perry has gotten better and done plenty in his life. Now, he says that he is not scared of anything at all. He went through the worst a person can go through and survived, earning himself his own self-respect!