‘Friends’ Creator Marta Kauffman Reflects on Matthew Perry’s Struggles During Filming

Showing support. Matthew Perry has been very open and honest through the years about suffering with his sobriety during the ten seasons of Friends. Luckily, he had the support of the team behind the scenes.

“We were certainly aware of some of it and we certainly had some conversations about it,” cocreator Marta Kauffman told Us Weekly and other reporters at the Producer Guild Awards on Saturday, January 18. “[We were] protective and, hopefully, supportive.”

Marta Kauffman 'Friends' Creator Sheds Light on Being 'Protective' Over Matthew Perry While Filming
Marta Kauffman at 31st Annual Producers Guild Awards at Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, CA on January 18, 2020. Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Perry, 50, went to rehab twice during his time on the NBC sitcom, which ran from 1994 to 2004. He first got treatment in 1997 and again in 2001.

Unlike many celebrities in treatment at the time, Perry never hid his addiction from the public.

“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,'” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 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.”

During an interview in 2016, he was asked what his least favorite episode of the show was. “I ​don’t remember three years of it so none of those,” he told BBC at the time. “I was a little out of it at the time — somewhere between seasons 3 and 6.”

'Friends' Creator Sheds Light on Being 'Protective' Over Matthew Perry While Filming
Matthew Perry arrives at a special screening of “The Kennedys – After Camelot” at The Paley Center for Media, in Beverly Hills, Ca on March 15, 2017. Invision/AP/Shutterstock

After his second stint in rehab, the actor opened the Perry House, a sober living home that was run out of his former Malibu home.

Despite his struggles, Perry has remained close to many of his former cast members. In November 2019, Courteney Cox, shared a selfie with her onscreen husband. “Guess who I had lunch with today,” Cox, 55, captioned the pic. “I KNOW!! Could I BE any happier? #realfriends.”

Jennifer Aniston, Lisa KudrowDavid SchwimmerMatt LeBlanc, Cox and Perry are all on board for a reunion special at HBO Max. However, nothing is set in stone yet.

“There is interest all around and yet we can’t get the interests all alighted to push the button on it,” HBO Max’s CCO Kevin Reilly said about the reunion special while at the Television Critics’ Association’s winter press tour on January 15. “Today it’s just maybe.”

With reporting by Carita Rizzo

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