Matthew Perry Talks Favorite 'Friends' Episode and Harrowing Near-Death Experience
Friends star Matthew Perry is on a media tour to promote his memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, which is set to release on November 1st. In an interview with People Magazine, the actor best known as Chandler Bing told a gut-wrenching story of a medical emergency in 2018 during which his doctors gave him a 2% chance of survival. Perry’s struggle with alcohol and opioid addiction during his Friends years is well-documented, but the interview released this morning shows just how grave his situation was as recently as four years ago.
"The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live," Perry revealed to People Magazine. It’s 2018, Perry has just been rushed to the hospital. His colon had ruptured from opioid abuse, and the prognosis is shockingly grim. "I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that's called a Hail Mary. No one survives that."
Thankfully, Perry caught the Hail Mary and survived the devastating ordeal – at the cost of spending two weeks in a coma, five months in the hospital, and nine whole months attached to a colostomy bag. The secret to his recent sobriety, he says, comes from those nine months – "My therapist said, 'The next time you think about taking Oxycontin, just think about having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life.’ And a little window opened and I crawled through it and I no longer want Oxycontin anymore."
After an ordeal as painful and potentially lethal as what Matthew Perry experienced in 2018, a change of perspective and a dedication to change is soon to follow – said Perry about the remarkable odds he overcame to survive that nightmare, "There were five people put on an ECMO machine that night and the other four died and I survived. So the big question is why? Why was I the one? There has to be some kind of reason."
Perry ended the interview by expressing his hope that his story will show just how insidious and indiscriminate addiction can be. Said Perry, "I say in the book that if I did die, it would shock people, but it wouldn't surprise anybody. And that's a very scary thing to be living with. So my hope is that people will relate to it, and know that this disease attacks everybody. It doesn't matter if you're successful or not successful, the disease doesn't care."
It's not all harrowing accounts and life-threatening emergencies, however – the American-Canadian actor also took time during his tour to chat with Indigo, and he revealed his favorite Friends episode to be “The One with the Blackout” from the show’s first season. In that episode, a city-wide blackout causes Chandler to get stuck in an ATM vestibule with a Victoria’s Secret model. Gee, wonder why that one tops the list.
Perry recalled that, “I was stuck in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre and very excited about that - and then the other five actors were doing really, really funny things in Monica and Rachel’s apartment. That was when I first realized that everybody on this show was great - and that every episode was sort of like a mini movie. It was that well-written, well-directed, and acted.”
Unsurprisingly, Matthew Perry prefers being attached to a supermodel over being attached to a colostomy bag.