George Clooney reveals his longtime friend Matthew Perry ‘wasn’t happy’ while he was making his mega-hit sitcom Friends: ‘It didn’t bring him joy’

George Clooney is opening up about his longtime friend Matthew Perry and his untimely and tragic death.

Clooney, 62, was promoting his new film The Boys In the Boat – in theaters Christmas Day – when he opened up about his friend in a Deadline interview.

The actor and director revealed that he knew Perry, who was 54 at the time of his tragic death, since he was 16 and they were longtime friends.

He also admitted that Perry’s breakthrough hit sitcom Friends, ‘didn’t bring him joy or happiness or peace.’

‘He wasn’t happy. It didn’t bring him joy or happiness or peace,’ Clooney said during the interview, adding that getting on a sitcom was literally his biggest dream.

George Clooney is opening up about his longtime friend Matthew Perry and his untimely and tragic death 

The actor and director revealed that he knew Perry, who was 54 at the time of his tragic death, since he was 16 and they were longtime friends

The actor and director revealed that he knew Perry, who was 54 at the time of his tragic death, since he was 16 and they were longtime friends

‘I knew Matt when he was 16 years old. We used to play paddle tennis together. He’s about 10 years younger than me. And he was a great, funny, funny, funny kid,’ Clooney said. 

‘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. And he got on probably one of the best ever,’ Clooney said.

Clooney and Perry both shot to fame at the same time, with both Clooney’s ER and Perry’s Friends debuting in 1994, both airing on Thursday nights, with Clooney adding they were, ‘side-by-side on the soundstage.’

‘And watching that go on on the lot — we were at Warner Brothers, we were there right next to each other — it was hard to watch because we didn’t know what was going through him,’ Clooney admitted.

‘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 added, referring to Perry’s 2022 book 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,’ Clooney said.

Next year will be the 30th anniversary of both Friends and ER, with Clooney reminiscing how impactful the pick-up was.

They brought us up. They’d picked us up for Thursday night at 10 o’clock, and them up at Thursday night at nine o’clock. Those were the Cradle of Love time slots because Seinfeld was there and we knew it. We all knew it,’ Clooney said. 

'I knew Matt when he was 16 years old. We used to play paddle tennis together. He¿s about 10 years younger than me. And he was a great, funny, funny, funny kid,' Clooney said

‘I knew Matt when he was 16 years old. We used to play paddle tennis together. He’s about 10 years younger than me. And he was a great, funny, funny, funny kid,’ Clooney said

'We knew that that was the time slot that we knew we were going to have a year, anyway, if people liked to show. We were backstage and there were six of them and six of us,' he added, referring to the casts of both shows being at the NBC upfront presentation in 1994

‘We knew that that was the time slot that we knew we were going to have a year, anyway, if people liked to show. We were backstage and there were six of them and six of us,’ he added, referring to the casts of both shows being at the NBC upfront presentation in 1994

‘We knew that that was the time slot that we knew we were going to have a year, anyway, if people liked to show. We were backstage and there were six of them and six of us,’ he added, referring to the casts of both shows being at the NBC upfront presentation in 1994.

‘For us, it was Noah Wyle and Tony Edwards and Eriq LaSalle and Sherry Stringfield, and Julianna Margulies, and myself. And for them it was their six and we were all sitting backstage and none of us were stars but Tony Edwards was the most famous person and Courteney Cox,’ he said.

‘They were the two people who everybody knew, and the rest of us were kind of unknowns. They showed a trailer for both shows. And then we came out on stage. And I remember at that moment thinking, this is a really special moment. It ended up being one of those crazy, I can’t explain it things. Two weeks after we debuted, we were on the cover of Newsweek. Everything changed for us after that,’ he said.

Friends ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004 with Perry starring in the show its entire run, with ER running for 15 seasons, though Clooney left after Season 5, though he did return for a Season 6 episode and the series finale in 2009. 

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