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“Friends” series regular Maggie Wheeler opened up about reading actor Matthew Perry’s recent memoir, saying that it was “sad” and at times “difficult” for her to read.
Wheeler played Janice, the nasal and clingy on-again, off-again love interest to Perry’s Chandler Bing — and entertainment site Page Six published her comments about the memoir on Saturday.
Wheeler explained that what made the memoir so difficult to read was the fact that there were “so many startling revelations about the ways Matthew has suffered over the years trying to wrangle his addictions.”
“I think he’s done a tremendous job and he’s really survived the unthinkable,” Wheeler said. “And I’m so proud of him and I’m so happy he’s here and I think it’s very brave that he’s written a book and he’s out talking about it, he’s really helping a lot of people.”
In the book, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” Perry revealed that he had almost died several years earlier after prolonged opioid abuse had caused a perforation in his bowel. He had to wear a colostomy bag for months after that — and he later said that it was the thought of returning to a colostomy bag that helped him to stop wanting pills.
Despite the actor’s struggles — and the fact that his cast mates were aware that his weight was fluctuating and he was drinking at times — Wheeler said that Perry never failed to give the show everything he had.
“He showed up for work even when he was in his darkest place, he showed up for work with all his humor and brilliance and talent,” Wheeler said. “There was never a day working on set with him where I felt insecure about how he was going to participate in the process, he was 100 percent, even when he was struggling.”
Wheeler went on to say that just being a part of “Friends” continues to bring her joy because of the joy she sees the series still bringing to others.
“I hear so many stories of people who watch ‘Friends’ as they go to sleep at night, so yeah, it’s tremendous to be part of something that has so much resonance not only here but across the world now,” she explained.