Friends star Jennifer Aniston said she was unaware the emotional turmoil, “anxiety” and “self-torture” her co-star Matthew Perry was going through as he delivered Chandler Bing’s iconic one-liners.
The 54-year-old actress who played Rachel Green for 10 series admitted the reunion show revealed information she had absolutely no idea about, reports The Mirror. The information did however bridge some gaps.
Speaking on the Today show, Aniston said: “I didn’t understand the level of anxiety and self-torture [that] was put on Matthew Perry, if he didn’t get that laugh, and the devastation that he felt.”
The reunion show – hosted by James Corden – was the first time the cast had reunited in 17 years. It saw Perry discuss the pressure he felt to perform as Chandler.
READ MORE: Friends star Matthew Perry dead from apparent drowning
The star said he would “go into convulsions” if the audience did not laugh as much as he hoped at a joke. He explained: “To me, I felt like I was going to die if they didn’t laugh and it’s not healthy, for sure.
“If I didn’t get the laugh I was supposed to get, I would freak out.”
Fellow co-star Lisa Kudrow, who played Pheobe Buffay, was taken by surprise by the comments on the 2021 special. She told Perry: “You didn’t tell us that then.”
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The comments came two years prior to Perry’s death, aged 54. The star was reportedly found drowned in a hot tub in his Los Angeles home on October 28.
In addition to the stresses of delivering his jokes, he was candid about dealing with addiction throughout this life. At age 49, he claimed to have overdosed on opioids, which he said caused his colon to burst.
Despite doctors telling the family that his estimated survival stood at a mere 2%, he lived on and started the road to recovery. The drug problem became such a burden that he couldn’t even watch Friends reruns.
He said he made a commitment to the five other talented actors on set to not be “wasted” while working. “I had too much respect for the five people I was working with. So I was never wasted while working.”
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