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Matthew Perry on How Helping People Aided His Recovery
December 15, 2022
Matthew Perry stopped by “The Jennifer Hudson Show” for an intimate chat with Jennifer about his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” which chronicles his decades-long struggle with drug addiction.
“When you get to a real low, that’s a time when you can help the most people,” he says of why he chose to write his book, which hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestsellers list. “It was time for me to help the most people.”
Matthew says writing the book about his multiple trips to rehab and his experiences filming “Friends” while trying to get sober was ultimately helpful and freeing. Reading it back to himself, though, was very difficult for the actor. “I read the book, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this man’s life has been so brutal and awful.’ And I realized this is me I’m talking about.”
Matthew remembers that when he was 23 years old, he would pray to be famous — and eventually ended up booking “Friends,” where he played Chandler Bing for 10 seasons on the hit NBC sitcom. Despite being rich, famous, and starring in on one of TV’s most popular shows of all time, his success didn’t make his personal demons disappear.
“Being famous doesn’t really matter, and it isn’t gonna change your life,” he realized. “If all your dreams come true, that doesn’t fix the inside.” He says that achieving the “American Dream” didn’t fix his problems, and he had to find something else to motivate him.
“What I found was helping people,” he tells Jennifer. Matthew says he got the same amount of satisfaction helping even just one person in their struggles with addiction as he did making hundreds of thousands of people happy through his work on “Friends.”
Matthew has now been clean and sober for over 18 months, and he is no doubt helping countless others all around the world by sharing his story. Congrats, Matthew!