‘Friends’ star Maggie Wheeler reacts to Matthew Perry’s memoir
Written by on January 28, 2023
“Friends” star Maggie Wheeler said Matthew Perry’s bombshell memoir was “sad” and “difficult” for her to read.
The actress, who memorably played Perry’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Janice on the hit NBC show, exclusively tells Page Six it was hard to read because there were “so many startling revelations about the ways Matthew has suffered over the years trying to wrangle his addictions.”
In the book, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” Perry revealed that he nearly died several years ago at age 49 when his colon burst from opioid overuse. He spent two weeks in a coma, five months in a hospital, and had to use a colostomy bag for nine months.
“The Whole Nine Yards” star, 53, also shared that at one point he was downing 55 Vicodin tablets and a quart of vodka just to make it through the day and estimated that he has shelled out about $9 million trying to get sober.
“I think he’s done a tremendous job and he’s really survived the unthinkable,” Wheeler says. “And I’m so proud of him and I’m so happy he’s here and I think it’s very brave that he’s written a book and he’s out talking about it, he’s really helping a lot of people.”
She stresses that despite Perry’s obvious struggles while filming “Friends,” as evidenced by his dramatic weight losses and gains, he was always the consummate professional.
“He showed up for work even when he was in his darkest place, he showed up for work with all his humor and brilliance and talent. There was never a day working on set with him where I felt insecure about how he was going to participate in the process, he was 100 percent, even when he was struggling,” Wheeler explains.
And as for being an iconic part of pop culture history, Wheeler is delighted.
“It is incredibly wonderful to be a part of something that means so much to so many people, that brings people joy and keeps people calm and happy,” she tells us.
“I hear so many stories of people who watch ‘Friends’ as they go to sleep at night, so yeah, it’s tremendous to be part of something that has so much resonance not only here but across the world now.”
The “Ellen” alum also recently hosted a special “Friends” trivia evening in conjunction with International Delight and Warner Bros. Discovery to celebrate the launch of the “Friends” Manhattan Hazelnut Mocha creamer.
The flavor, which also comes in a zero-sugar variety — and was featured on the chalkboard at Central Perk — is only available for a limited time.