Matthew Perry’s final interviews highlight addiction battle, efforts to help others

Matthew Perry’s 2022 “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing” press tour has become an archive of the actor’s final interviews.

Perry died Oct.28 after an apparent drowning in a hot tub at his home in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles, law enforcement sources confirmed to Fox News Digital. He was 54. 

On Nov. 1 2022, nearly a year to the day before his death, Perry released his memoir detailing his rise to fame as well as his struggles with addiction. Prior to the book’s release, the “Friends” star conducted several interviews where he talked about topics in the memoir – including his struggle with substance abuse and how he wanted to be remembered. 

Perry, who is famously known for his “Friends” character Chandler Bing, took his fans on a trip down memory lane in the memoir, even detailing his several near-death experiences. 

MATTHEW PERRY’S ‘FRIENDS’ CO-STARS GATHER FOR LATE ACTOR’S FUNERAL 

Here is a look at Perry’s final interviews and impactful words he shared with his fans. 

In November of last year, Perry was a guest on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” where he explained he never tried to end his life through drug use.

“It’s hard to die. You tried. You pushed it,” Maher told Perry before the actor clarified that he never “tried” to, but he was aware of the consequences that could come with taking illegal substances.

“I never tried, but I did so many drugs at certain times that I knew that it could kill me,” Perry explained. “But I would do it, but I never wanted to die.”

Perry said it took “a great deal of time” to work through his addiction battle, which led him to write his memoir.

MATTHEW PERRY FOUNDATION LAUNCHES AFTER ACTOR’S DEATH TO HELP PEOPLE STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION

“The real thing for me and the troubles I’ve had is that reality is an acquired taste. I have had a great deal of problems acquiring it,” Perry said. “It wasn’t until I became really safe in my sobriety and really strong in my sobriety – and to tell you the truth, I am resilient, I am strong.”

In 2018, he underwent a seven-hour emergency surgery after his colon burst – a rare but potential outcome of opioid abuse. That day, doctors told his family that he only had a 2% chance of surviving through the night.

“Opiates cause constipation,” he explained. “It’s kind of poetic. I was so full of s— it almost killed me.”

Following the incident, he spent five months hospitalized. He was in a coma for two weeks following the surgery, and required a colostomy bag for nine months afterward.

HOLLYWOOD MOURNS DEATH OF MATTHEW PERRY: ‘THE WORLD WILL MISS YOU’

Over the course of his life, Perry had 14 stomach surgeries.

“That’s a lot of reminders to stay sober,” Perry told People magazine of his surgical scars in October 2022. “All I have to do is look down.”

When Perry would have thoughts of taking an opioid again, he told the outlet he would remind himself of what his therapist told him.

STARS WE’VE LOST IN 2023

“My therapist said, ‘The next time you think about taking Oxycontin, just think about having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life,'” Perry said. “And a little window opened and I crawled through it and I no longer want Oxycontin anymore.”

The actor went to rehab 15 times and told the outlet that those who struggle with addiction have learning experiences if they relapse. 

“It’s important, but if you lose your sobriety, it doesn’t mean you lose all that time and education,” Perry said. “Your sober date changes, but that’s all that changes. You know everything you knew before, as long as you were able to fight your way back without dying, you learn a lot.”

In an October 2022 interview with The New York Times, the actor said he had been sober since early 2021, and in an interview with Perry’s friend, who saw the beloved star one day before he passed, she said he was “100% sober.” 

In the same 2022 interview with People magazine, Perry disclosed why he decided last year was the right time to share the dark moments in his life.

MATTHEW PERRY’S BIGGEST CONFESSIONS: NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES, A-LIST ROMANCES DETAILED IN HIS MEMOIR 

“I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again,” Perry said. “I had to wait until I was pretty safely sober – and away from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction – to write it all down. And the main thing was, I was pretty certain that it would help people.”

LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING? CLICK HERE FOR MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Matthew was active on his Instagram account surrounding the release date of his memoir and shared several promotional videos. In the final video uploaded on Nov. 4, 2022, Perry shared life advice with his millions of fans.

“I want people to understand that they’re not alone. That there are people feeling exactly the way they’re feeling. That their behavior is not insane. That they have a disease and it’s not their fault,” Perry said in the video, discussing substance abuse struggles.

APP USERS CLICK HERE

He continued, “There’s a famous lie that people don’t change. I happen to know that people do change and I see that every day. I see people getting better. I see the lights in their eyes coming on. They get through the terrible part of addiction, the detox, and they’re able to live a normal life as long as they do a certain amount of work every day.”

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER

In an interview with Tom Power in 2022, Perry explained that he didn’t want to be remembered as Chandler Bing, he wanted people to know he wanted to help others.

“I’d like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker,” Perry told Power in front of a live audience last year. “And his paramount thing is that he wants to help people. That’s what I want.”

During the interview, Matthew shared that his passion for life drastically changed from the 24-year-old who dreamed of becoming a big actor. As he got older, Perry’s main focus was helping others in the journey to sobriety. 

In 2013, Matthew created a men’s sober living facility, Perry House, at his former Malibu home, People magazine reported. The outlet reported that the facility was active for two years.

“When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned. I want that to be the first thing that’s mentioned,” Perry said of his commitment to helping others. “And I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that.”

​ 

Read More