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Matthew Perry Fell Asleep While Shooting a Friends Scene

The actor says Matt LeBlanc nudged him awake for his cue.
  • Matthew Perry. (Photo: Everett Collection)
    Matthew Perry. (Photo: Everett Collection)

    Matthew Perry once fell asleep midway through shooting a Friends scene, he reveals in his memoir.

    The actor, who recently began opening up about his decades-long struggles with sobriety and a near-death experience, shared that he wasn't always able to keep his addiction from impacting his work on the show. Perry, who played Chandler Bing, recalled filming a scene in Friends' iconic coffee shop Central Perk and falling asleep during shooting. 

    "The addiction ravaged me — one time, in a scene in the coffeehouse when I'm dressed in a suit, I fell asleep right there on the couch," he writes. "Disaster was averted only when Matt LeBlanc nudged me awake right before my line; no one noticed, but I knew how close I'd come."

    LeBlanc starred as Joey Tribbiani, Chandler's friend and roommate. He wasn't the only cast member who became aware of Perry's substance abuse issues. In his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and The Big Terrible Thing, Perry wrote that co-star Jennifer Aniston confronted him about his alcoholism. While he called the conversation "devastating" at the time, he's since expressed gratitude for her support

    In the weeks leading up to his memoir release, Perry has also revealed he's been sober for 18 months, meaning that he was newly on the wagon when he filmed the Friends reunion, which aired in May 2021.

    Friends, Lovers, and The Big Terrible Thing is available November 1.

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    Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.

    TOPICS: Matthew Perry, Friends, Matt LeBlanc