Matthew Perry sat down with Diane Sawyer on Friday to discuss his upcoming memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. In the 250-page book, he reveals just how bad his struggle with addiction was, how many times he’s had to have surgery as a result of it and how his Friends experience was shaped by it.
During the hour-long interview on ABC, Perry elaborated on his drug abuse, how he wants to settle down and have a family, and what people can look for if they want to see if he’s not doing well again.
Teaser clips from Perry’s interview with Sawyer were released in the week leading up to it and have been making the rounds online. Ahead of the memoir hitting shelves, a few things have been revealed: Jennifer Aniston was one of his most supportive Friends co-stars; the real reason he broke up with Julia Roberts; and how viewers can track which drugs he was using throughout the popular NBC sitcom.
Perry also came forward and apologized for asking why Keanu Reeves “still walks among us.” “I’m actually a big fan of Keanu,” he said in a statement. “I just chose a random name, my mistake. I apologize. I should have used my own name instead.”
Here are six more revelations from the interview:
- Viewers can tell which drugs Perry was on over the course of the Friends series: “When I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol. When I’m skinny, it’s pills.”
- Perry has been to 6,000 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, in therapy for 30 years, attended 15 rehabs, spent half his life in treatment or living houses and detoxed 65 times.
- He asked Aniston out on a date before they starred alongside each other in Friends, and she told him she just wanted to be friends.
- Perry had his first drink when he was 14 and remembers feeling like he was “in heaven.” By the time he was 18, he was drinking every day.
- He told the creators of Friends that he had a lot of trouble with women and anxiety, which made its way into the script as part of Chandler’s charm.
- He remembers his first pill, as crystal clear as he remembers his first drink. He had a Jet Ski injury and was given pills for the pain. It was like “warm honey entering my veins.” His addiction to pills got so severe, he would go to open houses just to get drugs out of strangers’ medicine cabinets.
- When asked how people will know he’s not doing well again, Perry responded: “If I say I’m just gonna chill alone at home tonight. And part two, if I ever say I’m cured.”
Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing will be released on Nov. 1.