George Clooney: Not even 'Friends' brought Matthew Perry joy


Amid the grim autopsy report following Matthew Perry's death, we've heard a lot about how the late star spent his final days.

It's not just a matter of the chemicals in your system. Statements from those who knew him say that he was clearly not in good condition.

George Clooney knew the deceased Friends star from when Perry was a teenager.

And he opens up about how Perry was clearly miserable even during the most successful years of his life.

Photo by Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry of TV's 'The Kennedys – After Camelot' speaks on stage during the REELZChannel portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 13, 2017. (Photo credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

George Clooney spoke with Deadline on Tuesday. She knows that Matthew Perry's dream was to have a leading role in a comedy.

In the end, that dream came true. Perry became Chandler Bing in Friends.

But Clooney points out that Perry had an addiction to alcohol and drugs. That turned even her success into a burden.

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George Clooney attends MPTF's 95th anniversary celebration with “Hollywood Night Under the Stars” at MPTF's Wasserman Campus on October 1, 2016. (Photo credit: Mike Windle/Getty Images for MPTF)

“He was a kid and everything he said to us, I mean to me, to Richard Kind and to Grant Heslov,” Clooney recalled.

What Perry would say “was, 'I just want to be in a comedy, man.'”

According to Clooney, Perry said: “'I just want to be in a normal comedy and I'd be the happiest man in the world.'”

Matthew Perry in 2015Matthew Perry in 2015
Matthew Perry attends Phoenix House's 12th Annual Triumph for Teens Awards Gala at the Montage Beverly Hills on June 15, 2015. (Photo credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

“And he probably got one of the best of all time,” Clooney said. It is certainly not the highest quality sitcom, but it is one of the most famous and iconic.

“I wasn't happy,” he admitted then. “He did not bring her joy, happiness or peace.”

Clooney recalled regularly working side by side with Perry for many years without knowing “what was going on for him.”

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Matthew Perry attends the CBS, CW and Showtime Summer TCA Party at Pacific Design Center on August 10, 2016. (Photo credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Many of us think of Clooney as someone who was “always” around. Often, as a boy, our moms thought he was attractive. But he is a real person whose career has had ups and downs. Mainly climbs.

In the '90s, Clooney was a emergencies regular at the same time Perry starred Friends. These two shows really embodied a lot of what it meant to live (as an adult) in the '90s.

“We just knew he wasn't happy and he had no idea he was doing what, 12 Vicodin a day,” Clooney said. “And all the things he talked about, all those heartbreaking things.”

George Clooney and Amal Clooney attend the 46th American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award Gala at the Dolby Theater on June 7, 2018. (Photo credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images)

“And it also tells you that success and money and all those things don't automatically bring you happiness,” Clooney said.

“You have to be happy with yourself and your life,” he rightly stated.

It is true that money solves many, perhaps even most, of life's problems in an instant. Other things it just makes easier. And there are some things where even a true fortune can only, at best, protect you from the consequences of your struggles.

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Matthew Perry attends the premiere of “The Circle” at the BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 26, 2017. (Photo credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

“I met Matt when I was 16,” Clooney recalled to the world.

“We played paddle tennis together,” he said. “She's about 10 years younger than me.”

Thinking back, Clooney described, “He was a great, fun, fun, fun kid.”

Matthew Perry in 2022.Matthew Perry in 2022.
Matthew Perry attends the GQ Men of the Year 2022 Party at The West Hollywood EDITION on November 17, 2022. (Photo credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for GQ)

Perry passed away at the age of 54 at the end of October. He died in the pool of his Hollywood mansion.

Perry had many substances in his house and in his system. She had been taking ketamine, which doctors believe was recreational (not to be confused with her therapeutic ketamine treatments from a few years ago) and buprenorphine, which helps with opioid addiction.

Unfortunately, he took a lethal amount of both. Our hearts go out to your loved ones. We all wish he had gone on to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

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