Matthew Perry has taken center stage as fans await the Friends reunion, but not in a good way. Fans of the franchise are wondering what’s wrong with the actor, as he slurred words and seemingly gazed into space during People’s interview with the sitcom cast.
In the reunion promo, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc sat side by side as they answered questions about their time on the show, recalling fond memories from Friends. Though the promo was supposed to be a tool to garner attention for the HBO Max special, fans fixated on Matthew Perry and the shape he’s taken later in life.
Throughout the interview, Matthew can be seen looking off into space, but then focusing just in time to briefly answer some questions. Matt and David were lively during the conversation. Matthew looked noticeably different, slouching, and only responded when pressed to do so.
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When asked if any members of the cast took memorabilia from the set, Matthew replied, saying: “I stole the cookie jar that had the clock on it.” Matthew slurred the “s” into a “sh” sound in “stole.” The actor is not known for having a speech impediment, and fans did not take it as a good sign.
During the rest of the interview, Matthew took a back seat to Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, who were both anxious to speak about their fun times on and off the set. Matthew Perry only jumped in occasionally, repeating what the other actors said in a sort of echoed tone. It seemed like he was slow to process the questions and found it difficult to make out full sentences.
Audiences acknowledged this startling show of vulnerability. “Just saw People interview and can’t believe how Matthew Perry looks like … seriously it breaks my heart,” one tweet said.
“It pains me to see Matthew Perry like this,” another fan said. “He just seems off, gazing at the void, speaking slowly.”
Someone else posted: “Hate to say it, but I’m sad and scared like hell for Matthew Perry. Damn, Matthew Perry in those PEOPLE Friends interviews.”
Not all the commentary was bad, though. Many took the opportunity to defend the actor, who had a rough time over the years. “Let’s not use the Friends reunion to make fun of the way Matthew Perry looks these days,” one Twitter user said. “People age, funnily enough. Matthew has been through A LOT since friends wrapped up in 2004. Be respectful instead of judgmental. Hard block me if you think making fun of him is funny.”
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Another fan said that “it’s really disheartening whenever Friends is brought up and people feel the need to talk shit about Matthew Perry’s appearance. He’s struggled with addiction and been through so much but y’all are so concerned about his looks when you should just be grateful he’s still alive.”
During the interview, David Schwimmer put it best saying that “over the years we’ve all struggled with different obstacles and challenges, and I think in those times it’s been nice to reach out and touch base and have a call.”
Matthew has fought addiction for decades. After a jet-ski accident in 1997, the Friends star was addicted to Vicodin. The struggles followed him through multiple seasons of the show, in which fans noticed his drastic weight loss. He was drinking vodka by the quart and went to set hung over on multiple occasions. He admitted to not remembering filming Seasons 3 to 6, saying he “was a little out of it.”
Fans have witnessed Matthew Perry’s decline for quite some time and are now worried about the actor. Many wonder if he has much of a future in showbiz left, or if his days in front of the camera are over.