Friends forever. Matthew Perry and Courteney Cox’s chemistry as Chandler Bing and Monica Geller was so strong that many fans wondered if the actors had an offscreen romantic connection.
Despite falling in love and getting married on Friends, Perry and Cox’s real-world relationship has always been platonic. The Cougar Town actress was married to David Arquette from 1999 to 2013 and has been dating Johnny McDaid since late 2013. The 17 Again actor, for his part, never married, but has dated A-listers including Julia Roberts and Lizzy Caplan.
While promoting the 2021 Friends: The Reunion HBO Max special, Perry shed some light on why no one in the cast ever got together.
“There was a rule that we had, it was really important to the six of us, that we kept a friendship; that we were friends. And if we were hooking up or if there was any strangeness going on, that might mess with things,” he told Access in May 2021. “So, we kept a friendship, and we did become really good friends. And we are really good friends to this day.”
After the beloved sitcom ended in 2004, the Odd Couple alum and his TV wife stayed in each other’s lives. A decade after the season finale, Perry made a guest appearance on Cox’s show Cougar Town. “It was so great to work with him. He’s so sweet,” the Scream actress said of her costar during a January 2014 appearance on CONAN. The Alabama native then gushed about the Almost Heroes actor’s sense of humor. “When I worked with him on Friends, he literally gave me my personality for 10 years,” she said.
The pair reunited onscreen again for the Friends reunion in May 2021. During the special event, Cox said she thought Monica and Chandler would still be together in the present. “And you are making me laugh every day,” she told the Go On alum of his sarcastic character.
Perry struggled with drug and alcohol addiction throughout his time on the iconic television series and in the years after the finale. He got sober in early 2021, prior to filming the reunion, in which he admitted that he “felt like I was going to die if [the Friends audience] didn’t laugh.” Cox commented on her former costar’s state of mind during the show in a February 2022 interview with The Times of London.
“That was a lot of pressure he put on himself. That’s a lot to think how much he relied on that for his own self-worth,” she said. “He’s just struggled for a while. I think he’s doing great now.”
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Scroll through for a look at Perry and Cox’s friendship over the years: