“Most of our hard laughs came from Matthew.”
Throughout Matthew Perry’s 44-year-long acting career, he gave us plenty of laughs, cries, and feel-good moments in between, thanks, especially, to his turn as everyone's favorite sarcastic friend, Chandler Bing. Like many great shows, the dynamic of the Friends cast mirrors the vibes on screen: They all really do care about each other. So, when the actor passed away on Saturday, it was a devastating loss for fans, loved ones, and castmates Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc.
From the everlasting memories from the set of Friends to their support of Perry's sobriety, here is everything his Friends family had said about Matthew Perry over the years.
In 2002, the actress opened up about witnessing Perry’s battle with addiction from the sidelines. “Hard doesn’t even begin to describe it,” she told The New York Times. “When Matthew was sick, it was not fun. We were just hopelessly standing on the sidelines. We were hurting a lot. Matthew is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life. He’s charming and hilarious. Most of our hard laughs came from Matthew.”
Ahead of Perry’s Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir, Kudrow — who wrote the foreword for his memoir — told the Times, “It’s a hideous disease, and he has a tough version of it. What’s not changing is his will to keep going, keep fighting, and keep living."
Adding, “I love Matthew a lot. We’re part of a family. I’m basically ending this with ‘I’ll be there for you’ [the Friends theme song], but it’s true. I’ll always be there for him.”
In the foreword, she shared what Perry truly meant to her, writing that he "could make me laugh so hard every day, and once a week, laugh so hard I cried and couldn't breathe. He was there, Matthew Perry, who is whip-smart... charming, sweet, sensitive, very reasonable, and rational. That guy, with everything he was battling, was still there. The same Matthew who, from the beginning, could lift us all up during a grueling night shoot for the opening titles inside that fountain."
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 1997, the Friends co-star Aniston described him as “one of the most sensitive people I’ve ever met.”
The actress later spoke out in 2021, admitting she didn’t realize the “self-torture” Perry experienced during their time on the hit sitcom, sharing with Today, "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. Which makes a lot of sense."
The actress who played his onscreen wife, Monica Gellar, on Friends, applauded him for his “ability to show very raw emotion and make close connections with his audience,” which is why “everyone loves him so much.”
“I loved that Matthew found a way to make his character relatable by showing vulnerability in the personal struggles he was facing,” she shared with BuzzFeed.
When it came to Perry's struggles with addiction, his longtime costar Schwimmer's comments were kept to a minimum. During a 2003 TV interview with the cast, the question of whether it was “hard to see a friend in trouble" arose, and Schwimmer unambiguously said, “It was really hard."
Perry's roommate on Friends, Matt LeBlanc (a.k.a. Joey Tribbiani), not only looked out for him on-screen but IRL. In 2002, LeBlanc disclosed moments when he saw his lifelong friend struggling but couldn't get through to him.
“I tried to talk to him,” he explained to People. “There wasn’t a response. It’s such a personal struggle; they need to bottom out on their own.”
The co-creator behind one of the greatest sitcoms to grace the small screen reflected on the day Perry walked in and auditioned for Chandler Bing.
"Matthew came in, and you went, 'Oh, well, there you go. Done. Done. That's the guy,'" Crane told Today in 2019.
When Friends: The Reunion aired in 2021, the co-creator of the NBC sitcom Friends, Marta Kauffman, reminisced on the fond memories of Perry playing Chandler, saying, "When Matthew reads the dialogue, it sparkles. This was the only guy to play him."
For more InStyle news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on InStyle.