Focused on the positive. Matthew Perry shared a new, candid photo via Instagram on Wednesday, July 7, appearing to be out to dinner.
“Happy days,” the Friends alum, 51, captioned the still. In the pic, the actor was wearing a backwards baseball hat and smiling as he looked off-camera.
The new still comes nearly two months after Friends: The Reunion debuted on HBO Max, during which Perry reunited with Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer. The event marked the first time the group was on screen together since the series wrapped in 2004.
Shortly after the special aired, news broke that Perry split from fiancée Molly Hurwitz. “Sometimes things just don’t work out and this is one of them,” he said in a statement in June. “I wish Molly the best.”
Following the special, Friends executive producer Kevin Bright shared what it was like to reconnect with the star after his many ups and downs during the original series. The four-time Emmy nominee has been open about his struggles with addiction through the years, including while he was filming the show.
“I talked to him. It was great seeing him again,” Bright, 66, told The Hollywood Reporter in May. “And what people say is what people say. I don’t have any to say about that, except it was great to see him. And I think he’s very funny on the show. But yes, I think he’s OK. He seems stronger and better since the last time I saw him, and excited about going forward.”
Ben Winston, who directed the special, also shared that The Odd Couple alum was “great” on set.
“People can sometimes just be unkind. I wish they weren’t,” Winston said on the “TV’s Top 5” podcast that month. “I loved working with him. He’s a brilliantly funny man and I thought he had some great one-liners in the show. I felt just happy and lucky to be in his presence and directing him on something like this.”
The West Wing alum struggled with drug and alcohol abuse through the years, beginning in 1997 following an accident. He checked into rehab that year after becoming addicted to Vicodin. He later returned to rehab in 2001.
“I had this odd rule that I would never drink on a set,” he told The New York Times the following year. “I went to work in extreme cases of hangovers. It’s so horrible to feel that way and have to work and be funny on top of that. … I didn’t get sober because I felt like it. I got sober because I was worried I was going to die the next day.”
In 2011, he entered rehab again, releasing a statement that reminded fans of his sense of humor. “I’m making plans to go away for a month to focus on my sobriety and to continue my life in recovery,” the Massachusetts alum said at the time. “Please enjoy making fun of me on the World Wide Web.”
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