Matthew Perry says he drank an ‘entire bottle’ of wine at age 14 and ‘was drinking every day’ by 18


Matthew Perry says his road to addiction began in his early teens when he drank an ‘entire bottle’ of wine.

The 53-year-old Friends actor, chatting with Diane Sawyer of ABC News on Friday, said that he ‘had never drank before’ prior to the experience at 14, which impacted him tremendously.

‘I lay in the grass and was in heaven,’ said Perry, who is promoting his new memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, which details his battle with addiction. ‘I thought to myself, “This must be the way normal people feel all the time.”‘

The latest: Matthew Perry, 53, says his road to addiction began in his early teens when he drank an ‘entire bottle’ of wine. The Friends actor, chatting with Diane Sawyer of ABC News on Friday, said that he ‘had never drank before’ prior to the experience at 14, which impacted him tremendously 

The Williamstown, Massachusetts native added: ‘By the time I was 18, I was drinking every day.’

Perry, who played Chandler Bing on the NBC smash hit, told Sawyer that he began taking prescription pain medication in 1997 after a jet ski accident while he was filming the movie Fools Rush In.

‘I had to wake up and realize I needed to get 55 [Vicodin pills] or I was going to be really sick. A bunch of doctors, fake migraines,’ he said. ‘I guess the weirdest thing I did was on Sundays I would go to open houses and go to the bathrooms in the open house and see what pills they had in there and steal them. 

‘I think they thought, “Well, there’s no way that Chandler came in and stole from us.”‘

The actor detailed the beginnings of his substance abuse battles in the interview

The actor detailed the beginnings of his substance abuse battles in the interview 

The Williamstown, Massachusetts native added: 'By the time I was 18, I was drinking every day'

The Williamstown, Massachusetts native added: ‘By the time I was 18, I was drinking every day’

Perry talked with Sawyer about his addiction battle in the interview

Perry talked with Sawyer about his addiction battle in the interview 

Sawyer asked Perry in the interview, ‘How will we know when you’re in trouble, when you’re not okay?’ to which Perry said, ‘If I say, “I’m just going to chill at home alone tonight;” and part two, the other thing, is if I ever say, “I’m cured.”‘

Perry says longtime battle with addiction has seen him in therapy for 30 years; go to rehab 15 times; go to about 6,000 AA meetings and survive 14 surgeries.

The actor told Sawyer that while he was entrenched in addiction during his years making the show, he did not use substances while on the set of the NBC hit.

‘I made a rule that I would never drink or take anything at work,’ Perry said. ‘So I would never do that, but I would show up blindly hungover. Like shaking. I loved Chandler, I loved the show. And I knew, “Remember this, because it’s going to be the best time of your life.” And I knew I would never forgive myself if I messed this up.’

Perry says longtime battle with addiction has seen him in therapy for 30 years; go to rehab 15 times; go to about 6,000 AA meetings and survive 14 surgeries

Perry says longtime battle with addiction has seen him in therapy for 30 years; go to rehab 15 times; go to about 6,000 AA meetings and survive 14 surgeries

The actor told Sawyer that while he was entrenched in addiction during his years making the show, he did not use substances while on the set of the NBC hit

The actor told Sawyer that while he was entrenched in addiction during his years making the show, he did not use substances while on the set of the NBC hit

Perry this week is slated to embark on a speaking tour titled A Conversation With Matthew Perry.

‘Join me on my book tour this November!’ he said on Instagram September 23. ‘Tickets on sale now … looking forward to seeing you and sharing stories from FRIENDS, LOVERS, AND THE BIG TERRIBLE THING.’

Perry has events scheduled for November 2 at The Town Hall in New York City; November 4 at the Penn Medicine Princeton Health at Hyatt Regency Princeton in Princeton, New Jersey; November 6 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C.; and November 10 at the Hot Docs Theatre in Toronto.

Perry appeared on the Friends: The Reunion special in 2021 on HBO Max with costars Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and Jennifer Aniston.

The book is slated to be released November 1.



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