Matthew Perry’s relationship with Jennifer Aniston, both on and off the screen, held a special significance for him. They first met through a mutual friend three years before “Friends” began filming, and Perry was immediately struck by Aniston. Despite never becoming romantically involved, their real-life friendship became incredibly meaningful for Perry, especially during his struggles with substance abuse and addiction. He expressed deep gratitude for Aniston’s support in an interview with Diane Sawyer in 2022.
Although their characters on “Friends” were not romantically linked, Perry revealed in his memoir that he developed romantic feelings for Aniston before they even started working on the show. He described it as an instant attraction and mentioned trying to win her over by sharing his achievements in the industry. However, when he eventually asked her out, Aniston made it clear she only wanted to be friends.
Perry dealt with the rejection and maintained a professional relationship with Aniston when they both joined the cast of “Friends.” He acknowledged that there was some initial awkwardness during the early seasons, as he would analyze their interactions, but this seemed to be more from his perspective.
Aniston played a crucial role in supporting Perry through his battles with addiction. He emphasized her honesty and willingness to confront him about his struggles, recalling a moment when she informed him that the cast could smell alcohol on him. This confrontation, though tough, was a turning point for Perry, marking a wake-up call delivered by Aniston.
Aniston’s concern for Perry’s well-being was evident in her actions. In 2004, she broke down in tears during an interview with Diane Sawyer, expressing regret over not being able to help Perry during his addiction struggles. She admitted that they were not equipped to handle such situations at the time.
Following the conclusion of “Friends,” Perry continued to face challenges in his journey toward sobriety, including multiple stints in rehab and hospitalizations. By November 2022, he had reportedly been sober for 18 months. The support and care shown by Aniston throughout their friendship undoubtedly played a significant role in Perry’s battle against addiction.