The highly anticipated Friends: The Reunion arrived this week to favorable reviews from the audience and critics alike. The special was filled with many heartwarming moments and interactions between the stars. But one thing that bothered fans of the sitcom the most was Matthew Perry's slurred speech. Perry. who portrayed the sarcastic Chandler Bing on Friends, appeared to slur throughout the reunion, and the promos, leading fans to question his sobriety. Some fans are also concerned about his health.
This has led the director of Friends: The Reunion, Ben Winston to address things directly. Here is what he said to The Hollywood Reporter when asked about Perry's health.
"Yes, he was great. People can sometimes just be unkind. I wish they weren't. I loved working with him. He's a brilliantly funny man and I thought he had some great one-liners in the show. I felt just happy and lucky to be in his presence and directing him on something like this."
As of now, Perry hasn't addressed these concerns himself but an insider revealed to The Sun that the slurred speech was caused by an emergency medical procedure performed on the day of the filming.
"Matthew turned up to the reunion [in April] and members of his team said that he had an emergency tooth procedure that day. That was said to impact his wellbeing and also how he was feeling. [Matthew] had been in pain from what we understand, which caused the slurred speech. "
In a separate interview with THR, executive producer Kevin Bright also tried to allay the concerns about Perry's health.
"What people say is what people say. I don't have any[thing] to say about that, except it was great to see him. And I think he's very funny on the show. I think he's OK. He seems stronger and better since the last time I saw him, and excited about going forward."
Perry has been outspoken about his struggles with addictions in the past. He even said that he doesn't remember three years of his life somewhere between Friends season 3 and season 6. This tumultuous phase of his life began after a jet ski accident in 1997 which left him addicted to the painkiller Vicodin.
After that, Matthew Perry checked into rehab twice, once in 1997 and then in 2001 for severe drug and alcohol addiction. He has also faced health scares since, from pancreatitis to gastrointestinal perforation. After all the ups and downs Matthew Perry seems to be doing well now. He has been sober for many years and has routinely starred in TV shows like The Odd Couple and Go On. He will be next seen in Adam McKay's Don't Look Up, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence.
Hosted by James Corden and produced by the show's co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane,Friends: The Reunion also known as The One Where They Get Back Together is a 100-minute unscripted special that reunites the cast of Friends after 17 years. After facing long delays due to the pandemic, it was finally shot in April and released on May 27 on HBO and HBO Max. This news comes from Insider.com.