Minnie Driver recalls her fond memories Matthew Perry and talked about how he lifted others up despite the pain he was going through. In a obituary published by The guardthe Good Will Hunting actress paid tribute to the late Friends star, with whom she co-starred on stage in a London production by David Mamet Sexual Perversity in Chicago in 2003.
The actress shared the first real meeting with the actors, which she orchestrated when they started rehearsing for their show.
“I wanted to have a good conversation with him. I went to lunch with my family, and I remember calling him and saying would you mind meeting us, and he was so easy about it,” Driver wrote of Perry . “The restaurant put us in the back, away from the people, but when he walked in… the whole place lit up. The whole room smiled.”
She noted that they interacted because of their fear of going on stage. “We felt that vulnerability because we were people who were not theater actors and put ourselves on stage when everyone knew us and was ready to judge us. It’s funny when you forge a bond over fear, but that’s what we did that summer ” she wrote.
Driver too remembered Perry’s unique balance of sharp humor and reliable kindness, writing: “Matthew was one of the fastest people you would ever meet, ruthlessly funny in the way he responded to people. He didn’t let you get away with anything… He was the most self-aware-disapproving person and very kind. Anyone who asked him for help, he would help.”
“He was in a good place when we did the play, but the thing about him was he was like a light,” she recalled. “He was one of those people who just made other people feel good. Somehow they didn’t suck you into their sadness or their pain, and I know now that his pain was great.”
The actress reflected on Perry’s conflicted relationship with his own Friends fame, that he spoke candidly about the past. “We should not forget that Matthew was a very good actor,” she wrote. “I recently looked at the reviews for our play – and his were all very good except one. I remember his response to that: ‘Some people only want Chandler, and I don’t know if that’s allowed to be me.’ other than that.’ That character would remain iconic and beloved forever, but there was clearly so much more to him.”
Driver continued: “But he knew that Friends would never let him go. It was a pretty tight yoke. Part of Matthew’s inner struggle was identifying so closely with a role he also held dear – a role he was so good at. But it also kept him in a specific spot, so it felt like a tug of war. I also think that when you’re struggling with addiction and you’re living an extraordinary, rarefied life where people love you so completely, it’s always difficult to come to terms with the possibility of your fallibility.”
Although the actress confessed that she had a hard time getting through Perry’s 2022 memoir Friends, lovers and the big terrible thing – she wrote that “it felt unbearable how much he suffered” – she stated that the memoir ultimately served as a positive force in his life.
“I last saw him last year on his book tour. It was such a relief to hear him say that by putting all that difficult stuff out there, he had somehow defused it,” she said. ‘I am incredibly grateful that he was able to experience how much people loved that book, and loved him, even beyond it Friends. In the end it seemed like a positive thing.”
Perry died October 28 at age 54, from acute effects of ketamine.
After his death, his estate announced the creation of the Matthew Perry Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping people struggling with substance abuse. In a statement shared with ET, officials said the organization will follow in Perry’s footsteps continue his life’s mission of helping others dealing with addiction, which he said was “of paramount importance” before his death.
“The Matthew Perry Foundation is the realization of Matthew’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction,” the statement said.
“It will honor his legacy and be guided by his own words and experiences and driven by his passion to make a difference in as many lives as possible,” said the statement announcing the foundation.
The actor was buried on November 3 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
AND Previously reported Perry’s Friends co-stars — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc And David Schwimmer — attended his funeral, along with other loved ones.
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