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Matthew Perry Says He Had Major Anxiety While Filming “Friends” – And No One Else Knew It


The 51-year-old actor – who played sarcastic and witty Chandler Bing on the hit ’90s sitcom – opened up about his anxiety while chatting with former co-stars Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox at the reunion special, which aired on HBO Max on Thursday.

According to Perry, his insecurity about his acting skills meant his anxiety increased if audiences didn’t respond positively to his jokes.

“To me, I felt like I was going to die if they didn’t laugh,” he said of his experience on the NBC show, which spanned 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004. “And that’s not healthy, for sure.”

Perry was 24 when he landed the role of Chandler and still delivered comedy gold with his epic one-liners – but things weren’t all rosy behind the scenes.

“I would say a phrase sometimes and they weren’t laughing and I was sweating and having seizures. If I didn’t have the laughter I was supposed to have, I would panic,” he admitted.

His reveal seemed to take the rest of the cast by surprise, with Kudrow saying, “You didn’t tell us that. I don’t remember you ever saying that.”

Perry replied, “Oh yeah, I felt like this every night.”

This isn’t the first time Perry has spoken candidly about his personal battles at the peak of his “Friends” hit.

During a BBC radio appearance in 2016, he admitted that three years of the “Friends” era were blurry due to his alcoholism and drug addiction.

When asked what his least favorite episode was, he told the interviewer, “I think the answer is I don’t remember three years old.… Somewhere between season 3 and 6.”

He added: “I was a little beside myself.”

HBO Max is owned by CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia.



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