Matthew Perry “felt nothing” after filming the finale of Friends. The actor admitted he was emotionally numbed and high on opiates during the NBC sitcom’s final days in his book Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir, where he details his battle with substance abuse and the weight of fame.
“It was January 23, 2004,” he remembers in the book, which came out Nov. 1. “The keys on the counter, a guy who looked a lot like Chandler Bing said, ‘Where?’ ‘Embryonic Journey’ by Jefferson Airplane played, the camera panned to the back of the apartment door, then Ben, our first AD, and very close friend, shouted for the last time, ‘That’s a wrap,’ and tears sprang from almost everyone’s eyes like so many geysers.”
“We had made 237 episodes, including this last one, called, appropriately enough, ‘The Last One.’ (Jennifer) Aniston was sobbing — after a while, I was amazed she had any water left in her entire body. Even Matt LeBlanc was crying.”
Matthew, however, felt hollow. “But I felt nothing,” he goes on in the book. “I couldn’t tell if that was because of the opioid buprenorphine I was taking, or if I was just generally dead inside.” Though he started taking buprenorphine as a “detox med,” he’d been taking the notoriously difficult-to-withdraw-from drug for eight months at that point.
The rest was a daze. He remembered, “So, instead of sobbing, I took a slow walk around the stage with my then-girlfriend — also appropriately called Rachel — stage 24 at Warner Bros. in Burbank (a stage that after the show ended would be renamed “The Friends Stage.”) “We said our various goodbyes, agreeing to see each other soon in the way that people do when they know it’s not true, and then we headed out to my car.”
While the book is full of intimate details, Matthew’s old castmates are said to be totally behind the star’s book “Even after all these years the cast still has a strong sense of loyalty to each other,” a Friends insider told HollywoodLife exclusively. “Everyone’s been very supportive of Matthew, sharing his story. It was never going to be some tell all about their lives, it was always going to be about his journey through addiction and he made sure they knew that before it came out.”