Sunday, July 21, 2013

Matthew Perry's Drug Addiction

The subject of Matthew Perry's long-term struggles with addiction is a bit outside the subject matter of this blog--though at a glance Perry's personal issues could explain the odd trajectory of his post-Friends career, I don't actually see any connection between those problems and ratings issues in the 2010s.

I'm talking about the drug issue today only because I recently read that Perry's drug problems had been triggered by a jet ski accident in 1997 and a course of prescription drugs.  Reportedly, Perry said that Vicodin made him feel better than he'd ever felt in his life. I have a certain degree of empathy for anyone who struggles with addictions--in my previous career as a criminal defense lawyer, I encountered a lot of good people who were fighting with everything they had and unable to stop the destruction of their own lives. Anyone can make a bad decision, or even a series of seemingly small bad decisions, that starts a chain reaction he never anticipated and doesn't know how to stop.

I have to admit, though, that the empathy kicks up a notch when it turns out that even that initial bad decision was absent. This story also clears up what's always been an open question in my mind--why Perry fell into drug problems in his late twenties, with a couple of good years on Friends behind him.

I'm glad to have run across this story, but equally glad that Perry wasn't running around in the nineties yelling, "It's not my fault! It was prescription drugs!" like some high-profile people I won't name have done. I'm happy that he's made such positive strides and impressed with the work he's doing with drug courts, and I really hope to see more of him in film/television...if that works well for him.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Courteney Cox Matthew Perry Reunion

You've undoubtedly heard that Courteney Cox will not only be making a guest appearance on the April 2 episode of Perry's Go On, but that she'll appear as a prospective love interest for Perry.

It's a moment fraught with tension.  Sure, Friends fans everywhere are delighted to see Cox and Perry together again, particularly as a couple...but can they reclaim the magic?  Will we be able to see them together as anything but Chandler and Monica?  Are we sure that we want to?

Jill Slattery gives us a sneak preview in the form of some stills from the upcoming episode.  I'm actually more interested in seeing this episode after looking at these photos, because somehow I really don't see Monica and Chandler in them.  That took me by surprise and raised my curiosity about how these two would play a different couple after years of on-screen dating/marriage.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Matthew Perry Goes to Cougar Town

Apparently, Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry were serious last week when both Tweeted about what a great time they were having working together again on Perry's Go On

A few days ago, Cox Tweeted that we'll be seeing Perry on her show as soon as it's back on the air--no specific date yet.  Want to know more?  I guess you'll have to follow her on Twitter.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Matthew Perry Sold an Extra House He Had Lying Around

Just in case you care.  It didn't seem like big news to me, but it's been pretty widely reported, with varying degrees of misinformation.  Apparently, he had a couple of houses in the same area and initial reports suggested that he'd sold the $8+ million house for $4+ million and that was a big deal.  But...breathe a sigh of turned out the recent sale was of an extra house that was less expensive to begin with and he actually turned a small profit.  Whew. 

This is apparently where Perry actually lives. It's gorgeous, but those pools (cool as they are) scare the hell out of me.

If you feel like I'm not taking this whole thing seriously enough from a news perspective, you can learn more about the sale and the previous media mix-up at TooFab.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Would Friends Have Worked Without Matthew Perry?

The amazing chemistry among the Friends cast was an essential element of the show's success.  Switching out any one of the six stars would undoubtedly have changed the show, and it's impossible to know how significant the impact of that change would have been.  Would we have seen ten successful seasons if Nancy McKeon had been portraying Monica, for example?

We'll never know.

My personal bias, though, says that Matthew Perry is the one guy the ensemble couldn't have reached its level without.  I'd never heard of him before Friends and didn't watch the show until long after its initial run was over, but one thing that quickly became clear was that Chandler's delivery was absolutely critical to the group dynamic.  That's why I was a little stunned when I learned that he almost wasn't a part of the cast.

Apparently, at the time the Friends opportunity rolled around, Perry was committed to a little project called LAX 2194.  To illustrate where in his career Perry was at that moment, this trailer for the pilot doesn't include or mention him--he's taking third billing (or something further down the line) to Ryan Stiles and Kelly Hu.


Fortunately (big surprise, huh?) the pilot wasn't picked up, freeing Perry up for the role of Chandler Bing.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Why We Should Trust Matthew Perry tells me that Matthew Perry has an approximate net worth of $70 million.  No, I'm definitely not suggesting that having a lot of money is an indication that a person is trustworthy.  In fact, many of the people with the most money have that money precisely because they can't be trusted (Jamie Dimon, for example, is reportedly worth about $400 million). 

No,what I'm saying is that certain actors reach certain points in their careers at which they're just looking for work.  (Do you think Richard Grieco wanted to go from modeling for Calvin Klein and his role as the hot bad boy cop on one of the hottest shows on television to playing that guy who got mutated into a cat and killed everyone?)

When that moment arrives, we can pretty much rest assured that whatever picture or pilot the guy does next will be crap. I'm not sure why--there's no inherent reason a show or movie with a low-budget and an unknown producer can't be good; good ones are made all the time. But that's how it seems to go.

The point is, Matthew Perry never reached that point.  Despite his past drug problems and various absences from the public eye, that Friends money meant that he never had to accept a part he didn't want and that he could take the time to develop projects he could believe in.

Sure, we might all have had a moment of "is that what he's come to?" when he took second billing to Disney star Zac Efron in 17 Again, but those concerns probably dried up and blew away if you actually saw the movie, which wasn't great art but was sweet, entertaining and well-cast.

Though I've far from seen all of his work, I can honestly say that I've never seen Perry in something I didn't enjoy.  At different levels, sure, but I've never thought, "Well, that was a waste of time" or turned off a show in the middle and gone on with my life--and I walk out of the room during television shows and forget that I was watching them all the time. 

So I'm thinking that, 30+ years into his acting career and with no financial incentive to make bad decisions, we should assume that Perry knows what he's doing when he chooses a project and turn on the television.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Chandler Bing Lives On

Back in the day when Friends was on television and I wasn't watching it, I didn't have any feelings about Matthew Perry one way or the other.  It was just a few years ago that we started watching the show on DVD and started to understand the appeal of the whole ensemble cast and the way they interacted.  Even then, though, the attachment was to the characters.

It was nice to see Perry emerge from his problems and start acting again, and he did a good job in everything I saw him in, but I didn't know much about him personally (or care).

Then, my daughter made me watch his episode of Punk'd online.

She loves that show, but the reason she wanted me to watch this particular episode was that she'd just discovered that Matthew Perry basically WAS Chandler.  If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out.  Perry was nervous as hell but working hard to be a good guy and not give anyone up when Ashton's team convinced him that a friend had brought him along to buy a stolen car.