It was the most successful time of his professional life.
But Matthew Perry has opened his heart about the depth of his addiction despair at the height of his fame on hit sitcom Friends.
The actor, who has had several stints in rehab, said he became an expert at hiding his troubles form co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow.
He told ABC News: 'Mostly it was drinking, you know, and opiates. I think I was pretty good at hiding it, you know, but, you know, eventually people were aware.'
Matthew did a 28-day program in 1997 for a Vicodin addiction, with his weight fluctuating wildly over the next few years and once dropping as low as 145 pounds.
He again entered rehab in February 2001 to treat an addiction to vicodin and methadone, as well as amphetamines and alcohol.
And the 43-year-old admits he now struggles to even look at photographs of himself during his substance abuse days. He said: 'I honestly recoil. It’s scary to look at that. I was a sick guy.'
But the star, who played Chandler Bing for a decade from 1994, admits being one of the most famous faces in America at the time inadvertently aided his recovery. He said: I couldn’t just walk into a bar. Everybody in the bar would go, "You, you can’t do that. I just read that you can’t do that. You can’t. You can’t."'
However he has now turned his life around and is helping other after turning his old beachfront mansion in Malibu, California into a sober living home so men can transition back to the real world.
Explaining his rationale, he said: 'If you're thrown from treatment to the outside world, sometimes its too bumpy.'
Matthew is working with addiction specialist Earl Hightower on the Perry House project, and they were at the White House earlier this month with the Champion of Recovery award. The actor joked: 'Champions of Recovery, which is a very surreal thing, we’re award-winning alcoholics.'
The Whole Nine Yards favourite also had some words that will surely disappoint followers of the iconic sitcom, as he ruled out a Friends reunion despite the fact he has been struggling to find regular work.
Matthew, whose self-penned sitcom Mr Sunshine was cancelled in 2011, said: 'I don’t think so. It would be terrible to do something and have it not be good. It was so terrific. If we did a movie and it sucked, then it would, you know, blemish it.'
Something he was far less effusive about was his old co-star Jennifer Aniston's nuptials to Justin Theroux, refusing to be drawn on the date of the wedding, though he teasingly added, 'I would assume I'd be there.'
May 30, 2013
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