© HBO Max Friends: The Reunion sees the cast return for a special one-off episode.
Matthew Perrys revelation of how anxious he felt while filming Friends in front of a live studio audience has sparked a wave of compassion for the actor, who has been open about his substance abuse issues in the past.
Perry, 51, spoke about how the cast would act out episodes in front of a live studio audience so the writers could change storylines or jokes that didnt go down well.
For him, the anxiety of the audience not laughing when he delivered one of his jokes was crushing.
To me, it felt like I was going to die if they didnt laugh, he said during the reunion. Its not healthy, for sure, but I would sometimes say a line and they wouldnt laugh and I would sweat and just go into convulsions if I didnt get the laugh I was supposed to get. I would freak out.
Phoebe star Lisa Kudrow said that he never told the rest of the cast he felt that way and Perry added that he felt like that every single night.
The Chandler Bing star has open in the past about having a big problem with alcohol and pills at the height of the shows popularity.
In 2016 he claimed that he couldnt remember filming several seasons of the show due to substance abuse issues.
I was a little out of it at the time—somewhere between seasons three and six, he told BBC Radio 2.
Perry told People back in 2013 about the point in which he decided to strive for sobriety.
You have to want the help, he said, later adding: The interesting reason that I can be so helpful to people now is that I screwed up so often. Its nice for people to see that somebody who once struggled in their life is not struggling any more.
© Getty Images/David M. Benett/Dave Benett Matthew Perry poses at a photocall for The End Of Longing, a new play which he wrote and stars in at The Playhouse Theatre, on February 8, 2016 in London, England. Getty Images/David M. Benett/Dave Benett
Fans were moved by Perrys admission about he felt during the show.
Its ironic that Matthew Perry was so self-conscious about the possibility of not being funny when HE was the one that made all of us laugh the most, he was behind a lot of Chandlers best lines, his character helped so many people through depression, one fan tweeted. A legend.
#FriendsReunion its ironic that Matthew Perry was so self conscious about the possibility of not being funny when HE was the one that made all of us laugh the most, he was behind a lot of Chandlers best lines, his character helped so many people through depression. A legend.— ⍟ (@RogersPotato) May 27, 2021
While another added: Did anyone else just want to do this to Matthew Perry? Sharing a gif of Chandler and Joe hugging each other in an episode of Friends.
Did anyone else just want to do this to Matthew Perry? #FriendsReunion pic.twitter.com/aPezMdXPQg— Melissa Flynn (@Meyonce) May 27, 2021
Meanwhile, another fan mused: Matthew Perrys self deprecating humour in the #FriendsReunion and fact he cant watch himself on the show absolutely devestates me and I just want him to know how much of an amazing actor he is and everyone loves him not just Chandler Bing and he deserves more acting roles.
Matthew Perry’s self deprecating humour in the #FriendsReunion and fact he can’t watch himself on the show absolutely devestates me and I just want him to know how much of an amazing actor he is and everyone loves him not just Chandler Bing and he deserves more acting roles.— Raddy (@MaddyRevitt) May 27, 2021
Another offered: Ill fight anyone who starts on Matthew Perry—mans been THROUGH it.
I’ll fight anyone who starts on Matthew Perry - mans been THROUGH it. pic.twitter.com/dU7MCouqjm— Bekah (@scribblerboo) May 27, 2021
Friends director Kevin Bright spoke about the concern for Perry following the reunion this week.
I think hes OK, Bright told The Hollywood Reporter.
I talked to him. It was great seeing him again. And what people say is what people say. I dont have any[thing] to say about that, except it was great to see him. And I think hes very funny on the show.
He added: But yes, I think hes OK. He seems stronger and better since the last time I saw him, and excited about going forward.
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