‘That was probably my best’
While Matthew Perry became world famous by playing Chandler Bing in ‘Friends’ it was a role alongside Salma Hayek that was his favourite.
The late actor was found dead Saturday in a jacuzzi at his Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, home. He was 54.
A post-mortem examination was inconclusive and officials are awaiting the results of toxicology tests.
Perry starred on ‘Friends’ for 236 episodes over 10 seasons, from 1994 to 2004, and was one of the core cast members alongside, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, in a role that defined his acting career.
But it was a very different performance that was Perry’s most “treasured role”. It was playing a character named Alex Whitman in the 1997 rom-com Fools Rush In alongside Hayek.
“I did a movie that I love called Fools Rush In with Salma Hayek — that was probably my best movie,” Perry said on Instagram when asked if playing Chandler was his “most treasured role.”
In Fools Rush In, Perry is a New Yorker sent to Las Vegas to oversee a construction project. There he meets Isabel Fuentes (Hayek), and some serious chemistry brings them together for one night.
But Perry’s character, Alex, doesn’t see Isabel again until three months later, when he learns she’s pregnant.
On a whim and a prayer, he proposes. However, there’s more to marriage than a Vegas chapel and an Elvis impersonator, as Alex and Isabel soon learn.
The movie was released in 1997 and also stars Jon Tenney, Carlos Gómez, Tomas Milian, Siobhan Fallon, John Bennett Perry, Stanley DeSantis, Anne Betancourt, Suzanne Snyder, and Jill Clayburgh.
In a joint statement on Monday, Perry’s Friends castmates, said the star’s passing was an “unfathomable loss”.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew,” the Friends cast said in the statement released to the BBC.
“We were more than just castmates. We are a family. There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss. In time we will say more, as and when we are able.
“For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”
Perry had a long-running and well-publicised battle with addiction to painkillers and alcohol and was in and out of rehab, spending millions on trying to get clean. This led to numerous health issues: In 2018, his colon “exploded” because of opiate abuse, requiring seven-hour surgery. He was given a 2 per cent chance of making it through the first night. Perry did but spent the next two weeks in a coma. He also suffered pancreatitis in 2000.
His struggles with addiction were documented in Perry’s 2022 memoir ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.’
‘Friends’ was nominated for 62 Primetime Emmy Awards, and won for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2002.
In 2021, the cast got back together for the Max special ‘Friends: The Reunion.’
Perry also starred in series such as 2006’s ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,’ 2012’s ‘Go On’ and a 2015 ‘Odd Couple’ revival, as well as films such as 1997’s ‘Fools Rush In,’ 2000’s ‘The Whole Nine Yards’ and 2009’s ’17 Again.’