Matthew Perry Recalls Exiting ‘Don’t Look Up’ After Medical Scare

Matthew Perry Mediapunch/Shutterstock

A missed opportunity. Matthew Perry landed a role in the 2021 Netflix movie Don’t Look Up but had to exit the project due to a health scare.

In his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry, 53, details his decades-long battle with drug and alcohol addiction and the resulting medical complications. according to Rolling Stonethe friends alum writes that he spent time at a rehab center in Switzerland amid the filming of Don’t Look Up.

During his stay, he was administered the anesthesia drug propofol before a surgery to help with his stomach pain. the 17 Again actor also had hydrocodone in his system as the time, and the combination of drugs had serious consequences.

“I was given the shot at 11:00 AM I woke up eleven hours later in a different hospital. Apparently, the propofol had stopped my heart. For five minutes. It wasn’t a heart attack — I didn’t flatline — but nothing had been beating,” Perry writes, per the outlet.

The Massachusetts native then quips that his role on a certain famous sitcom might be the reason he survived the close call. “I was told that some beefy Swiss guy really didn’t want the guy from friends dying on his table and did CPR on me for the full five minutes, beating and pounding my chest,” he writes. “If I hadn’t been on friends, would he have stopped at three minutes? did friends save my life again?”

Although the Whole Nine Yards star lived to tell the tale, he didn’t come out of the experience unscathed. “He may have saved my life, but he also broke eight of my ribs,” Perry writes, noting that he was in too much pain after the incident to continue filming the apocalyptic satire film.

Matthew Perry Recalls Exiting 'Don't Look Up' After Heart Failure: The 'Biggest Movie I'd Gotten Ever'

Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, and Meryl Streep in ‘Don’t Look Up.’ Netflix/Moviestore/Shutterstock

the Odd Couple alum called the decision to step back from “the biggest move I’d gotten ever” a “heartbreaking one.” He was slated to portray a Republican journalist in the Adam McKay comedy. A group scene he filmed before his medical crisis didn’t make it into the movie.

Of Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thingout November 1, Perry reveals that he has been sober since early 2021. “I’ve probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober,” he told the New York Times for a story published on Sunday, October 23.

Perry’s friends costar Lisa Kudrow — who wrote the foreword for the forthcoming memoir — told the outlet that the Almost Heroes actor has a “tough version” of “a hideous disease.”

She continued: “I love Matthew a lot. We’re part of a family. I’m basically ending this with ‘I’ll be there for you’ [the Friends theme song], but it’s true. I’ll always be there for him.”

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