Why Matthew Perry Wants to Watch 'Friends' Now After Avoiding It for Years

The actor has said he found it hard to watch the show as it reminded him of his addiction struggles.

Matthew Perry is ready to get enjoyment out of Friends. During a discussion with Tom Power about his memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, the 53-year-old actor explained why he initially avoided watching the sitcom that made him famous and why he may be ready to dive back into it now.

"I can't watch the show, because I was brutally thin and being beaten down so badly by the disease," he said of addiction, before later noting, "I didn't watch the show and haven't watched the show because I could go, 'Drinking. Opiates. Drinking. Cocaine.'"

"I could tell season by season by how I looked," he said. "I don't think anybody else can, but I certainly could. That's why I don't want to watch it 'cause that’s what I see -- that's what I notice when I watch it."

Now, though, Perry said, "I think I'm going to start to watch it." 

"First of all, it was an incredible ride, but it's been an incredible thing to watch it touch the hearts of different generations," he said. "It's become this important, significant thing."

"I would watch that again. It was really funny and all the people were nice," Perry added. "I've been too worried about this, and I want to watch Friends, too."

The actor previously discussed how hard it was for him to rewatch the sitcom during an interview with Diane Sawyer, after the journalist played Perry a scene from Friends in which he was visibly skinny.

"That's very hard to watch. Because in this weird way I feel sorry for that guy. That's a guy that's out of control," Perry said of seeing himself in that state. "I didn't know what was going on with me. I weighed 155, on my way to 128 pounds. I feel sorry for that guy. He's going through too much. And it's me. And I remember that. I didn't understand when that was going on. I'm so grateful to not be that anymore." 

Now, Perry told Sawyer, he's working on a screenplay, going on a book tour, and hoping to help other people who are struggling with addiction.

"My health is good. I'm doing really well now. It's not that hard. I have a lot of experience now," he said. "... I've got to help as many people as a can... It's no fun to talk about this stuff. I don't like talking about it, but I know it's going to help people to talk about it."