George Clooney has said Matthew Perry’s role in Friends “didn’t bring him joy or happiness or peace”.
He told US publication Deadline: “I knew Matt when he was 16 years old. We used to play paddle tennis together. He’s about 10 years younger than me. And he was a great, funny, funny, funny kid.
“He was a kid and all he would say to us, I mean, me, Richard Kind and Grant Heslov, was, ‘I just want to be on a sitcom, man. I just want to be in a regular sitcom and I’d be the happiest man on earth’. And he got probably one of the best ever,” Clooney said.
The couple rose to fame at the same time, with ER and Friends both debuted in 1994 and aired on Thursday nights in the US. Clooney said they were “side by side on the sound stage”.
“When we saw it happening on the square — we were at Warner Brothers, we were there right next to each other — it was hard to see because we didn’t know what was going through him,” Clooney added.
“We just knew he wasn’t happy and I had no idea what he was doing, 12 Vicodin a day and all the things he was talking about, all the heartbreaking stuff.”
“And it also just tells you that success and money and all those things don’t just automatically bring you happiness. You have to be happy with yourself and your life.”
An autopsy ruled Perry’s death an accident from “acute effects of ketamine“.
Perry, best known for playing smart Chandler Bing in Friends, was found unresponsive in the swimming pool of his LA home on October 28 and pronounced dead at the scene.
Other contributing factors to his death included drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine, which can be used to treat opioid use disorder, officials said.