Clooney reveals Perry's unhappiness during 'Friends'
In an interview with Deadline, Clooney recounted Perry's long-standing ambition to star in a sitcom. This dream came true in 1994 when Perry landed the role of Chandler Bing on "Friends," a sitcom that quickly became a cultural phenomenon.
However, Clooney, who rose to fame around the same time with "ER," noted that Perry's coveted role did not fulfill his expectations of happiness.
“He was a kid, and he kept saying to me, Richard Kind, and Grant Heslov, ‘I just want a regular sitcom gig. That would make me the happiest man on earth,’” Clooney told Deadline. “Then he landed on what's arguably one of the best sitcoms ever. Yet, he wasn’t happy. It didn’t bring him the joy, happiness, or peace he sought.”
Perry has been open about his struggles with addiction, which began with alcohol at the age of 14.
“We knew he wasn’t happy, but I had no idea about the extent of his struggles — the 12 Vicodin a day and all the heartbreaking details he later revealed,” Clooney said. “His story is a stark reminder that success and wealth don’t necessarily equate to happiness. Personal contentment is crucial.”
Clooney recalled meeting Perry when he was just 16, playing paddle tennis together. "He was a great, funny, funny kid, about a decade my junior," Clooney said.
Tragically, Perry was found dead in his hot tub on October 28, a post-mortem examination attributing his death to the acute effects of ketamine. Perry, who had been undergoing regular ketamine infusions, detailed his experiences and struggles in his memoir "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing."
In his book, Perry expressed a desire to be remembered for more than just "Friends." He wrote, “The best part of me is being able to help someone struggling with addiction. When I die, I want that to be my legacy, not just ‘Friends.’ And I am committed to living the rest of my life proving that.”