Matthew Perry was the main topic of conversation leading up to the Friends reunion and the aftermath of the reunion as well. The HBO Max special premiered last Thursday.
The fans of the show expressed their concern over the actor’s appearance and speech but the director has stuck by the actor. Ben Winston was the one who pitched the idea of the one-off reunion and got the gang back together. He opened up about how it was like working with Matthew aka Chandler Bing.
The director spoke with The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top 5 podcast. He revealed that Matthew was great and people are unkind. Ben wished they were not as unkind as they have been to the actor. He said, “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.”
Matthew has been open about his struggles with addiction over the years. Fans feared that he relapsed when they saw him at the reunion special. This was the first time, the cast got together since the sitcom ended in 2004. The fans of the show also pointed out his slurred speech during the promo itself.
“I stole the cookie jar that had the clock on it,” he said when the cast was asked if they’d stolen any souvenirs from the set. The actor pronounced stole with a bit of “sh” sound at the beginning. However, it was later revealed that it was because of an emergency dental procedure just hours prior to the show.
“And what people say is what people say. I don’t have any to say about that, except it was great to see him.”
Matthew’s struggle started back in 1997 after an injury. The actor was admitted and then he became addicted to Vicodin and checked into rehab later that year. In 2002, he was admitted with pancreatitis because of alcohol abuse and he returned to rehab the next year. After the unscripted show aired, fans were also quick to point out his bright white smile.
Kevin S Bright, the producer of Friends spoke to The Hollywood Reporter as well in another interview. He commented on his appearance as he refused to say anything about people talking about his appearance. The producer said, “I talked to him. It was great seeing him again. And what people say is what people say. I don’t have any to say about that, except it was great to see him.”
He further praised the actor as he said Matthew is really funny and that he is okay. Kevin shared that he seems stronger and better since the last time he saw him.