George Clooney says Matthew Perry ‘wasn’t happy’ while filming ‘Friends’: ‘It didn’t bring him joy’

Hollywood icon George Clooney recently reminisced about his friendship with Matthew Perry, highlighting Perry’s struggles with happiness and substance abuse despite his sitcom success. During his chat with Deadline, Clooney divulged details about knowing Perry from a young age and witnessing his friend’s rise to fame as Chandler Bing on Friends. Ironically, achieving his sitcom dream did not bring Perry the happiness he expected.

“I knew Matt when he was 16 years old. We used to play paddle tennis together. He was a great, funny, funny, funny kid. He just wanted to get on a sitcom, and he got on probably one of the best ever. But he wasn’t happy. It didn’t bring him joy or happiness or peace,” shared Clooney.

The ER star also expressed how heartbreaking it was to witness Perry’s battle with substance abuse, which was largely shrouded from their fellow colleagues at Warner Brothers. Perry’s struggle is a stark reminder that success and wealth do not automatically equate to happiness and contentment.

“And watching that go on on the lot — it was hard to watch because we didn’t know what was going through him. We just knew that he wasn’t happy and I had no idea he was doing what, 12 Vicodin a day and all the stuff he talked about, all that heartbreaking stuff. And it also just tells you that success and money and all those things, it doesn’t just automatically bring you happiness. You have to be happy with yourself and your life.”

Matthew Perry Praises Friends Cast for Their Support Amid Struggles

Matthew Perry, best known for his role as Chandler Bing in Friends, earned an Emmy nomination for his performance during the show’s ninth season. In his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry shared openly about his addiction struggles. Despite combating his demons, Perry fondly recalled the constant support he received from his Friends cast mates.

“It’s like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That’s kind of what the cast did for me.”

Tragically, Perry was found unresponsive in his hot tub in October 2023. His death was ruled accidental, caused by acute ketamine effects, leading to an outpouring of grief from friends and fans alike.