and they both — but it would take Perry years more to get over his crush.
on Oct. 28, opened up about his feelings toward his co-star and their special bond in his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.”
“Morning Show” actress Aniston gently rejected Perry ahead of filming Season 1 of “Friends” in 1994, but Perry appeared to still have feelings up until she began in 1998.
Pitt would later appear in a 2001 “Friends” episode. The exes were married from 2000 to 2005.
“I had long since gotten over her — ever since she started dating Pitt, I was fine,” Perry noted in his book. “And had worked out exactly how long to look at her without it being awkward.”
Perry and Aniston initially met through mutual acquaintances, with the “Fools Rush In” actor noting that he was “immediately taken” by her. When he booked two gigs in one day pre-“Friends,” Perry called her to share the news.
“You’re the first person I wanted to tell this to!” he recalled telling her.
“Bad idea — I could feel ice forming through the phone,” Perry continued. “Looking back, it was clear that this made her think I liked her too much, or in the wrong kind of way . . . and I only compounded the error by then asking her out. She declined (which made it very difficult to actually go out with her), but said that she’d love to be friends with me, and I compounded the compound by blurting, ‘We can’t be friends!’ “
“Fairly early in the making of Friends I realized that I was still crushing badly on Jennifer Aniston. Our hellos and goodbyes became awkward. And then I’d ask myself, How long can I look at her? Is three seconds too long?” he continued.
“At first it was like, she would walk in, I’d be like, ‘Hey, good to see you.’ And then I’d go to my dressing room and just go, ‘Oh, I’ll never be able to be with her.’ But how can you not have a crush on Jennifer Aniston, you know? But I did at one point just go, ‘All right, that’s enough.’ “
Despite Aniston turning him down, the two — alongside co-stars Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer — became inseparable on set. They also supported Perry at the height of his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse — especially Aniston, who he later told Diane Sawyer would always “reach out the most” through the years.
for Season 6 of the NBC sitcom.
“I returned for the next season of Friends high as a kite, and everyone knew that something had to be done. I had already heard about methadone, a drug that promised to remove a fifty-five-a-day Vicodin habit in one day with one little sip. The only catch was, you had to drink that little sip every day, or you would go into serious withdrawal. Sounds good to me, my desperate mind thought. I got on the drug immediately and was able to return to Friends the next day, sharp as a tack,” he explained in his book.
“I had been told that methadone had no side effects. This was not true. In fact, it was the beginning of the end. Otherwise, everything else was going great. Friends was still as successful as ever,” he added. “And then another cast member came to my trailer. It wasn’t David this time, and it wasn’t good news.”
The late star recalled Aniston saying, “I know you’re drinking.”
“To be confronted by Jennifer Aniston was devastating. And I was confused,” he added.
When Perry asked how she could tell because he “never worked drunk” and had “been trying to hide it,” he was left devastated over her response.
” ‘We can smell it,’ she said, in a kind of weird but loving way, and the plural ‘we’ hit me like a sledgehammer,” he wrote.
” ‘I know I’m drinking too much,’ I said, ‘but I don’t exactly know what to do about it.’ “
Perry would then get a sober companion on set, but admitted it wasn’t “really helping” the situation. And one day the entire group spoke with him after he slurred his words during a run-through — hours after taking “some kind of medication” and drinking the night before.
“Once again, I went back to my dressing room and everybody from the show was there,” he said. ” ‘What are you going to do, Matty?’ they said.
“I called my manager,” he continued. ” ‘Yeah,’ he said, ‘they’re onto you.’ “
Perry estimated that he spent about $9 million trying to get sober through the years. He was reportedly clean at the time of his death and authorities don’t believe foul play was involved. In exclusive photos obtained by The Post, the cast of “Friends” and Perry’s family were spotted saying their final goodbyes to him at what was
The tragic news is something Aniston reportedly “dreaded” for 20 years.
“Nobody shed more tears for Matthew during the darkest points of his struggles with addiction than Jennifer,” a source told Daily Mail, adding that she “genuinely thought his worst days were behind him. So his death just two years later comes as a bitter body blow for Jennifer.
“It doesn’t matter whether he died as a result of a freak accident, or whether it was directly connected to his drug issues,” the source added. “This is a day that Jennifer has dreaded coming for 20 years. She always wanted to help Matthew in any way she could . . . that was a constant for her.”