The Untold Truth Of Matthew Perry

“Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?” “All right, I took the quiz, and it turns out that I do put career before men.” “Hi, I’m Chandler. I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable.” What do these phrases have in common? That’s right, Matthew Perry. Perry graced the screen during all 10 seasons of the hit sitcom “Friends” as Chandler Bing (or Mrs. Chanandler Bong in some circles) and left audiences laughing with joke after joke. Chandler was the quintessential guy next door; his charm and subtle good looks left an impression on Courteney Cox’s Monica Geller, and fans everywhere watched as the two best friends tied the knot. Chandler’s character arc on “Friends” was so significant that at times, it’s difficult to disconnect the actor from the character. 

While Perry is a lot like Chandler (we’ll get into it later), the actor also has had a pretty colorful life. After an athletic career turned into an acting trajectory, Perry scored on the sitcom stage, but later suffered at the hands of addiction (via People). He’s had a number of high-profile relationships, and has used his platform for good. There’s a lot to know about the actor, so we put it all together for you. Here’s the untold truth of Matthew Perry.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Matthew Perry is engaged to Molly Hurwitz

Matthew Perry has had a number of high-profile relationships since being in the spotlight (we’ll get more into that later), but he has officially found the love of his life. As noted by People, Perry proposed to long term girlfriend Molly Hurwitz, and fortunately for him (just kidding, he seems great), she said yes. He explained that he “decided to get engaged,” and that luckily for him, he “happened to be dating the greatest woman on the face of the planet at this time.” 

So who’s Hurwitz? She works as a literary manager, is 20 years younger than her fiancé, and was initially linked to Perry in 2018. The relationship between the two hasn’t always been easy, however. It was reported by In Touch in May 2020 that Perry and Hurwitz had called it quits, despite things seemingly going very well for them. “It happened very recently,” a source revealed. “It was very amicable, but they have both decided to go their separate ways.” 

Clearly Perry and Hurwitz couldn’t stay apart from each other, because they reconciled and got engaged just six months after going their separate ways.

Due to substance use, Matthew Perry doesn't recall three years of working on 'Friends'

One thing you may not know about Matthew Perry’s life is that he has struggled with sobriety, so much so that his addiction significantly impacted his time on “Friends.” As noted by Vulture, Perry revealed that he had little to no memory of shooting a chunk of the show due to his drug use. When asked about details of the show while appearing on BBC Radio 2, Perry came to a dead end. “I think the answer is, I don’t remember three years of it,” he shared. “So none of those … Somewhere between season three and six … I was a little out of it.” 

Another reality about Perry’s drug use during his time on the hit sitcom was that his co-stars had an idea as to what he was going through. He told People that he had “a big problem” with substances including both pills and alcohol, and he couldn’t keep it going under the radar. “Eventually things got so bad that I couldn’t hide it, and then everybody knew,” he shared.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Matthew Perry was responsible for convincing Julia Roberts to guest star on 'Friends'

“Friends” had a number of high profile guest stars, but none were as exciting (in our opinion, at least) as Julia Roberts. And what a lot of people might not know is that Matthew Perry was pretty much responsible for getting the “Pretty Woman” actress on the show. Roberts guest starred in the episode entitled “The One After the Superbowl,” and played Chandler Bing’s former classmate. The two characters in the show spark up a relationship of sorts, and the episode just so happened to rake in 52.9 million viewers — casual, we know. 

As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, Perry asked Roberts to come on the show, and she answered him by saying that if he wrote a paper for her about quantum physics, she’d do it. Why quantum physics? We’re not entirely sure — maybe because Roberts wanted to see just how far Perry would go to get her on “Friends.” But by all accounts, Perry wrote the paper and faxed it to her the following day, and the rest is history. Perry and Roberts would go on to date from 1995 until 1996, making all of our dreams come true in the process (via Mirror).

Matthew Perry is an advocate for this issue

As aforementioned, Matthew Perry has struggled significantly with addiction throughout his life, specifically to alcohol and Vicodin. He told People that after “a harrowing, years-long battle,” he finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. “Something clicked,” he said. “You have to want the help.” And after he found the help he was looking for, Perry turned to advocacy and began a lifelong dedication to helping those struggling with similar substance use problems. 

Additionally, Perry has been a vocal advocate for drug courts, which would grant non-violent addicts treatment rather than imprisonment. Through his work, Perry said that he finally found “true happiness” and a sense of fulfillment that wasn’t always a part of his life. “The interesting reason that I can be so helpful to people now is that I screwed up so often,” Perry revealed. “It’s nice for people to see that somebody who once struggled in their life is not struggling any more.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Matthew Perry initially pursued an athletic career

While you may not believe it, as Matthew Perry’s character in “Friends” is very physically unmotivated (just think of Chandler Bing trying to get a couch up a flight of stairs), Perry was a very gifted athlete. As noted by Hello!, Perry committed himself to the game of tennis, and when he was in his teen years, he was nationally ranked in his home country of Canada. 

So what stopped Perry from being the next Roger Federer? Well to put it bluntly, moving to the United States made Perry realize that he didn’t have what it took to make it big in the tennis world. “I was a very good tennis player in Ottawa, Canada — nationally ranked when I was, like, 13. Then I moved to Los Angeles when I was 15, and everyone in L.A. just killed me,” Perry told Men’s Health. “I was pretty great in Canada. Not so much in Los Angeles. It was insane.” 

Shortly after Perry’s realization, he figured that he needed to vet another career path, so he turned to acting. His competitive nature fit the world of acting quite well, and as we all know, Perry made sitcom history from there.

Matthew Perry uses his home in Malibu for this specific purpose

Matthew Perry turned his life around after dealing with addiction, and he spoke about the experience with ABC News. He recalled not being able to go into a bar, as his sobriety (or lack thereof at the time) was being reported on by all the major entertainment magazines. “I couldn’t just walk into a bar,” Perry said. “Everybody in the bar would go, ‘You, you can’t do that. I just read that you can’t do that. You can’t. You can’t.'” 

Perry put in the work to get a handle on his addiction, and since, he has turned his home in Malibu, California into a transitional home for men struggling with addiction. The Perry House, as it’s called, helps men during their transition from rehabilitation back into their daily lives. It has clearly been a success, as Perry and his partner, addiction specialist Earl Hightower, were honored by the Obama Administration with the Champion of Recovery award. “[It] is a very surreal thing, we’re award-winning alcoholics,” Perry explained.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Matthew Perry has dabbled in the political realm

Matthew Perry is no stranger to advocating for himself — just look at how he worked to turn his own life around. So it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that he has taken to the political field to advocate for those less fortunate than himself. As noted by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), Perry was joined by NADCP’s CEO, West Huddleston, as well as other NADCP board members in Washington, D.C., where they met with members of Congress to discuss drug court funding. The group, including Perry, met with the House Appropriations Committee to advance the support for the drug courts, and pushed the committee to consider an $86 million budget. 

In pure Chandler Bing fashion, Perry cracked a couple jokes while speaking on the issue, but given the subject matter, he got to the seriousness of the topic fairly quickly. “I’m here, of course, to talk about Drug Courts because they save money. They save lives. They save prison space. They save families. They save veterans,” he declared. “Drug Courts are a proven budget solution. This is why it is critical that Congress fund Drug Courts at a minimum of $86 million.” Love to see it.

Matthew Perry got his first film gig while he was still in high school

What were you doing at 15 years old? Probably messing around and getting into some kind of trouble, but Matthew Perry landed his first acting gig at 15 — so clearly the rest of us were doing something wrong. As noted by Biography, Perry moved to Los Angeles in his mid-teens to live with his dad, and once he was in the movie making capital of the world, he found himself on a film set. 

The movie in question was “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon,” starring River Phoenix. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Perry was sitting in a restaurant when the director of the film passed him a note on a napkin that expressed his interest in casting the then-teen. The film didn’t amass box office success, but it was praised by critics. 

Perry recalled Phoenix being a “complete health nut” who frowned at the sitcom star every time he ate French fries. As for the film, Perry said it lulled him into a false understanding of success. “We had a lot of fun, but I was so young and naive,” he said. “I thought, ‘This is where the big stardom starts.'”

How Matthew Perry feels about a 'Friends' revival

We’re all ecstatic over the “Friends” reunion show, set to stream on HBO Max in May 2021, but how does Matthew Perry feel about an actual “Friends” revival? The short answer: Perry is not here for it. As noted by ABC News, Perry said that a revival could possibly ruin the show, and given that “Friends” is such a hit, the chance of messing up a good thing isn’t worth it. “It would be terrible to do something and have it not be good,” he revealed. “It was so terrific. If we did a movie and it sucked, then it would, you know, blemish it.” 

Despite his thoughts on a “Friends” revival (sorry to be the bearer of bad news), that doesn’t stop Perry from channeling his inner Chandler Bing. On Instagram, Perry regularly posts about his iconic character. He’s poked fun at his character’s hilarious dance moves, has posted montages of some of his classic looks from the show, and even posted a photo of Chandler’s drop-dead hysterical bunny costume. It’s safe to say that Perry has a huge appreciation for his character and the show, even if a revival is never in the cards.

Matthew Perry has dated some of Hollywood's biggest stars

Matthew Perry is a fine actor, a hilarious guy, and seems to have a heart of gold, so it’s no wonder that he’s dated some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. As aforementioned, Perry was romantically linked to Julia Roberts from 1995 until 1996, but she wasn’t the only star that the “Friends” actor dated. As noted by In Touch, Perry was later connected to Yasmine Bleeth from “Baywatch,” which for all the “Friends” fans out there, you know just how important “Baywatch” is to our boys Chandler and Joey (talk about a dream come true for Perry). They were only together for a couple months, mind you. 

Perry has also been romantically involved with co-stars; he dated “Gilmore Girls” star Lauren Graham, who he starred with in “The Odd Couple.” They worked together on a number of occasions, and tried to see if their chemistry worked off-camera in 2003 (needless to say, it didn’t work out). One of Perry’s most significant relationships was with Lizzy Caplan, who played Janis Ian in the hit movie “Mean Girls.” Perry and Caplan were a couple for about six years, but ended their relationship in 2012.

Matthew Perry has a famous stepfather

This may be one of the best kept secrets about Matthew Perry: He has a very famous stepfather, so for all you true crime junkies out there, prepare yourselves. Perry’s stepfather is the renowned journalist and “Dateline” correspondent Keith Morrison — yes, we were shocked too. Morrison told People that his relationship with his stepson, Perry, is one of the proudest aspects of his life. 

Morrison married Perry’s mom in 1981 and recalled that the actor was “remarkable” from his teen years onward. “He’s one of those people who always is the center of the room for a reason and it was so as a kid,” Morrison shared. “He’s an intense, talented, focused character. He’s very bright. That was always the case as he was growing up.” 

Morrison also pointed to Perry’s athletic career — both in hockey and in tennis — as examples of his determination from a young age. Calling his stepson “talented” and “smart,” Morrison continued by saying that he was not at all shocked that Perry landed his role in “Friends.” “Him being selected for a role like that does not surprise me one bit,” he revealed. “It matched his particular sense of humor precisely. That character is Matthew.”

Another actor got an offer to play Chandler Bing on 'Friends' before Matthew Perry did

It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Chandler Bing in “Friends,” but it turns out that Matthew Perry wasn’t always the actor in mind for the role. As noted by ScreenRant, Jon Cryer from the hit sitcom “Two and a Half Men” was in the running, as was actor Craig Bierko. Perry even helped Bierko prep for the role, as he was connected to another project at the time. 

By the time auditions for Chandler had dwindled down, actor Jon Favreau was given the role — we know, we can’t imagine it either. Luckily for all of us (sorry, Favreau), the actor turned down the part so he could pursue other projects. By that point, Perry was back on the scene and, as you definitely guessed, got the part. 

Having said that, however, Favreau did make an appearance on “Friends.” You might recall when Monica Geller was attached to her wealthy boyfriend, Pete Becker, who ended up pursuing a very odd career in ultimate fighting. Becker was played on the six-episode arch by none other than Favreau, so he did get his time on-screen in “Friends” after all.

Matthew Perry suffered from a number of career setbacks in his early years

It seems like every actor has to pay their dues at some point in their early career, and Matthew Perry was no exception. As noted by Biography, Perry suffered a number of setbacks in his early acting years, with a couple of failed shows under his belt. 

Perry’s first sitcom appearance was in 1987 in the show “Second Chance.” It was about a man, played by Kiel Martin, who dies and gets the opportunity to come back and coach his younger self (that was Perry’s role). The show was not a hit, so it was reworked to just focus on Perry’s character. But like the original part played by Martin, the show died a death and didn’t stay on the airwaves. 

After that, Perry did a couple of guest roles on shows including “Growing Pains,” and then tried to go for sitcom success again with the show “Home Free” — but the show was canceled after a few months. Before arriving at success with “Friends,” Perry was also tied to the show “LAX 2194,” which never made it to the screen.

Matthew Perry had a fairly distant relationship with his own father

You could say that acting runs in Matthew Perry’s blood because his father, John Bennett Perry, was also a hardworking actor. But Matthew told NBC News’ Katie Couric that he wasn’t close to his father, their distance stemming from early separation; Matthew’s parents got divorced when he was just 1 year old. “I didn’t blame myself quite yet,” the actor joked about the circumstance, but still, a sad thing to happen at such a young age. 

One of the ways Matthew did connect with his father, however, was through the screen. John Bennett starred in projects such as “Days of Our Lives,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “Little House on the Prairie” (via IMDb). It was through their shared love of acting that the father and son bonded. “That was mostly the way that I saw my father when I was young — on TV shows, and you know, getting shot through a door on Mannix, or something like that. That’s my Dad,” he added.

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