Friends creator Marta Kauffman recently opened up about her time on the show, and took a moment to reflect on Matthew Perry's struggles with rehab while the series was in production. While speaking with Us Weekly during the Producer Guild Awards on Saturday, Jan. 18, Kauffman revealed that everyone on staff was "supportive" of Perry's intentions to stay sober.
"We were certainly aware of some of it and we certainly had some conversations about it. [We were] protective and, hopefully, supportive," she said. Now 50, Perry went to treatment facilities in 1997 and again in 2001. These both came while he was starring in Friends, which ran on NBC from 1994 until 2004.
Notably, Perry has never been one to shy away from discussing his substance abuse issues, telling The Hollywood Reporter in 2015, "I've had a lot of ups and downs in my life and a lot of wonderful accolades, but the best thing about me is that if an alcoholic comes up to me and says, 'Will you help me stop drinking?' I will say, 'Yes. I know how to do that.'"
He went on to share, "When I was in big trouble, it was so public because I was on a TV show that 30 million people were watching. The fact that I [am] on TV makes people listen a little bit more, so I take advantage of that from time to time."
Perry also is one who is not afraid to poke fun at his personal issues, once joking in a BBC interview, when asked about "his least favorite episode" of Friends, "I don't remember three years of it so none of those. I was a little out of it at the time — somewhere between seasons 3 and 6."0comments
Notably, after his second time in a rehab facility, Perry turned his old Malibu, California home into a sober house for other individuals with substance abuse issues to be able to live in while on their own recovery journey.
He also has worked closely with Phoenix House, "a wide-reaching nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization" that works with adults and teens who have suffered with substance abuse issues. During his 2015 THR interview, he spoke highly of the non-profit, saying, "Phoenix House was kind enough to open their doors about four months ago when I went on a tour of [the Lake View Terrace facility]," then adding, "Getting sober is a really hard thing to do, and I saw hope on the faces of the kids."