George Clooney says Matthew Perry ‘wasn’t happy’ while filming ‘Friends’: ‘It didn’t bring him joy’

George Clooney said Matthew Perry struggled to be happy after scoring “Friends” due to his addiction to alcohol and drugs.

Speaking to Deadline on Tuesday, the “ER” actor recalled that Perry’s dream was to have a role in a sitcom — which he ultimately did when he got cast as Chandler Bing in “Friends” in 1994.

However, because of his addictions, Perry still found it hard to go on.

“He was a kid and all he would say to us, I mean me, Richard Kind and Grant Heslov, was, ‘I just want to get on a sitcom, man. I just want to get on a regular sitcom and I would be the happiest man on earth,’” Clooney, 62, told the outlet.

“And he got on probably one of the best ever. He wasn’t happy. It didn’t bring him joy or happiness or peace.”

George Clooney recalled Matthew Perry being “unhappy” while filming “Friends.” Variety via Getty Images

Clooney explained that the two worked side by side every day and still had no idea “what was going through him.”

At the time, Clooney was filming “ER” while Perry filmed “Friends,” both of which were the most popular shows in the ’90s.

“We just knew that he wasn’t happy and I had no idea he was doing what, 12 Vicodin a day and all the stuff he talked about, all that heartbreaking stuff,” Clooney said, referring to Perry’s confessions written about in his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.”

“And it also just tells you that success and money and all those things, it doesn’t just automatically bring you happiness. You have to be happy with yourself and your life.”

“It didn’t bring him joy or happiness or peace,” the “Oceans 11” star told Deadline in an interview published Tuesday. NBCUniversal

The “Ocean’s Eleven” star also recalled his impression of Perry when they met.

“I knew Matt when he was 16 years old,” Clooney said. “We used to play paddle tennis together. He’s about 10 years younger than me.

“He was a great, funny, funny, funny kid,” the actor continued.

Clooney claimed he often saw his pal on the Warner Brother’s studio lot while Perry shot his hit sitcom and he filmed the “ER.” Everett Collection / Everett Collection

The “17 Again” actor was found dead in the pool of his $4 million Hollywood mansion on Oct. 28. He was 54.

Perry’s autopsy report, which was obtained by Page Six, revealed he died due to a lethal amount of ketamine and buprenorphine, which is used to assist with opioid addiction and reducing of pain.

The medical examiner’s report noted the actor was receiving ketamine infusions regularly with his last approved dosage being a week before his death.

At the time, the “Ticket to Paradise” star had no idea about Perry’s addiction to drugs and alcohol. GC Images

The examiner suggested Perry may have taken the fatal dose recreationally since the drug’s half-life is about four hours.


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Perry was also taking testosterone shots, antidiabetic medication, ammoxifen to lose weight and nicotine lollipops.

Leading up to his death, he was attempting to quit smoking cigarettes as his assistant revealed the actor was going through two packs per day.

“We just knew that he wasn’t happy and I had no idea he was doing what, 12 Vicodin a day and all the stuff he talked about, all that heartbreaking stuff,” Clooney said. ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Perry, whose struggle with substance abuse started with alcohol when he was 14, previously revealed he spent $9 million attempting to get sober.

At one point in his life, the “Whole Nine Yards” actor was taking up to 55 Vicodin tablets a day accompanied by a quart of vodka.

In October 2022, he told The New York Times he’d been clean for 18 months after suffering from a near-death experience a few years before.

The “Fools Rush In” star died on Oct. 28 after taking a lethal amount of ketamine. Warner Bros

Following Perry’s death, his close pal Jennifer Aniston insisted he hadn’t relapsed despite knowledge of his past.

“He had quit smoking. He was getting in shape. He was happy — that’s all I know,” the “Morning Show” actress told Variety earlier this month. “I was literally texting with him that morning, funny Matty. He was not in pain. He wasn’t struggling. He was happy.”

“I want people to know he was really healthy, and getting healthy. He was on a pursuit. He worked so hard,” she continued.