Perry added: “Imagine how scary a moment that was.”
The Massachusetts native rose to fame taking part in the sarcastic Chandler Bing on NBC’s Friends for its 10 seasons, which aired between 1994 and 2004. While the sitcom continued to realize success, Perry struggled behind the scenes and even went to rehab twice in 1997 and 2001.
“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my life and a lot of wonderful accolades, but the best thing about me is that if an alcoholic comes up to me and says, ‘Will you help me stop drinking?’ I will say, ‘Yes. I know how to do that,’” the Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing scribe instructed The Hollywood Reporter in August 2015. “When I was in big trouble, it was so public because I was on a TV show that 30 million people were watching. The fact that I [am] on TV makes people listen a little bit more, so I take advantage of that from time to time.”
He added on the time: “When you’re having a bad day, the best thing you can do is call somebody and ask them how they’re doing and actually pay attention and listen to the answer to get out of your own head.”
In Friday’s teaser of the upcoming ABC tell-all — which airs later this month — Perry instructed the legendary broadcaster, 76, that his frequent drug and alcohol use nearly derailed his profession.
“At the time I should have been the toast of the town,” the Odd Couple alum recalled, noting he would take “55 Vicodin” pills every day. “I was in a dark room meeting nothing but drug dealers and completely alone.”
While Perry sought therapy, he was additionally fervently supported by his Friends household.
“We were certainly aware of some of it, and we certainly had some conversations about it,” sequence cocreator Marta Kauffman previously told Us Weekly in January 2020. “[We were] protective and, hopefully, supportive.”
If you or anybody you understand is going through substance abuse points, name the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 at no cost and confidential data 24/7.
Matthew Perry—The Diane Sawyer Interview airs on NBC on Friday, October 28, at 8:00 p.m.