Healthy and happy. A Friends director responded to Matthew Perry health issue rumors after HBO Max’s Friends: The Reunion led viewers to have concerns over the actor’s wellbeing.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, May 27, reunion director Ben Winston called comments about Perry’s health “unkind.” “He was great. People can sometimes just be unkind. I wish they weren’t,” 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.”
Friends co-creator Kevin Bright also commented on Perry‘s health and noted that the actor is “stronger and better” than ever. “I talked to him. It was great seeing him again,” he said. “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.”
He continued, “But yes, I think he’s OK. He seems stronger and better since the last time I saw him, and excited about going forward.”
During Friends: The Reunion, which Perry appeared on with co-stars Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and Courteney Cox, viewers saw Perry speak much less than his co-stars. Fans also claimed that, during the moments Perry did speak, his speech sounded slurred, which led some viewers to wonder if he had a stroke on stage. However, according to a source for The Sun, Perry’s speech wasn’t due to issues with his health but because of a tooth procedure he had earlier that day.
“Matthew turned up at the reunion and members of his team said he had an emergency tooth procedure that day. This was said to impact his wellbeing and also how he was feeling,” the source said. The insider explained that the dental work caused Perry some “pain,” which is why he didn’t speak as much during the special.
“Obviously no one wants to film after a procedure, but it happened. The feeling was one of huge sympathy for Matthew, especially in recent days, given how people reacted online,” the source continued. “Matthew has told those around him that he is sober, and there is no need to worry.”
As fans know, Perry has been open with his past health issues and drug addiction. In 1997, he completed a 28-day program for Vicodin addiction. He entered rehab a second time in 2001 for addiction to Vicodin, methadone, amphetamines and alcohol. In an interview with BBC Radio 2 in 2016, Perry revealed that his memories of seasons 3 to 6 of Friends are foggy because of what he’s been through.
“I think the answer is, I don’t remember three years of it,” he said at the time. “So none of those … Somewhere between season three and six … I was a little out of it.”
If you still can’t get enough of Friends, check out Friends Forever: The One About the Episodes, the only authorized guide with behind-the-scenes details for over 200 fan-favorite episodes. This 25th Anniversary edition is fully illustrated and includes tons of fun exclusives, like never-before-seen photos, interviews with show creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, and interactives from the series itself. For example: You’ll finally see what’s on Joey’s fake resume vs. his real one and find out Chandler’s real job! Friends Forever: The One About the Episodes is available to purchase on Amazon or Bookshop.org.
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