Matthew Perry felt like he was 'going to die' on Friends

·Features and Health Editor
·3-min read

The Friends Reunion was highly emotional with many of the former cast and crew members shedding a tear or two during the two-hour special, as they reminisced about their time on the show.

But 51-year-old star Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing in the hit sitcom from 1994 to 2004, actually surprised his co-stars after confessing he sometimes got so nervous when filming in front of a live audience that he felt like he was "going to die".

friends reunion cast
The Friends cast got emotional during the reunion special. Photo: Warner Bros/Binge

The cast - including Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow - spoke about how they found filming when there was a live audience in the studio.

But Matthew Perry admitted he felt extra pressure to get a laugh out of people and would "freak out" if a joke didn't land.

"To me, I felt like I was going to die if they didn't laugh," he said. "It's not healthy, for sure, but I would sometimes say a line and they wouldn't laugh and I would sweat and just go into convulsions if I didn't get the laugh I was supposed to get. I would freak out."

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Lisa Kudrow, was seemingly shocked by the revelation, replying: "You didn't tell us that. I don't remember you ever saying that."

Matthew admitted: "I felt that every single night."

matthew perry friends reunion special
Matthew Perry felt a lot of pressure with the live audience. Photo: Warner Bros/Binge

Fans of Friends had previously expressed some concerns for Matthew, as he appeared quite emotional in one of the preview teaser trailers released last week.

A few even called his appearance 'worrying' online, with one Twitter user remarking: "Is Matthew Perry ok? His speech is so slurred."

However, an insider clarified afterwards that Matthew Perry slurred his words because he recently had some dental work done.

"Members of his team said that he had an emergency tooth procedure that day," a source told The Sun.

"He had been in pain from what we understand, which caused the slurred speech. Obviously no one wants to film after a procedure, but it happened. The feeling was one of huge sympathy for Matthew."

The insider added that Matthew reportedly "told those around him that he is sober, and there is no need to worry".

The star has long been open about his battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

A jet ski accident in 1997 saw him become addicted to the pain killer Vicodin. "I was out of control and very unhealthy," he told People at the time.

His castmate Courteney Cox, who played his on-screen wife Monica Geller, was a source of support as well as a sober coach who lived close to him in Malibu.

Matthew has also revealed that he 'doesn't remember' several years of filming Friends, a time when he was drinking vodka by the litre and turning up to set hungover.

"I don’t remember three years of it," he told BBC Radio 2 in 2016. "Somewhere between Seasons 3 and 6 … I was a little out of it."

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