He ‘made other people feel good’

He ‘made other people feel good’

Actress Minnie Driver is remembering Matthew Perry as a bright light two months after his death.

Driver, who starred with Perry in the London production of “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” in 2003, penned an essay for the Guardian that painted the late actor as a genuine man who was just as fun and easy to love as his iconic “Friends” character, Chandler Bing, despite his internal struggles.

“The thing about him was he was like a light,” she recalled.

“He was one of those people who just made other people feel good.”

The “Good Will Hunting” star, 53, continued, “Somehow, they don’t suck you down into their sadness, or their pain, and I know now that his pain was great.”

Perry publicly struggled with substance abuse and depression during and following his days on “Friends,” and was pronounced dead on Oct. 28. He was 54.

“He was one of those people who just made other people feel good,” she wrote in the Guardian. Getty Images
“Somehow, they don’t suck you down into their sadness, or their pain, and I know now that his pain was great,” the “Beyond the Lights” actress added. Getty Images

It was revealed last week that he died from the “acute effects of ketamine” mixed with the opioid-like drug buprenorphine, which is meant to treat opioid addiction and ease pain.

He openly spoke about his depression, anxiety and struggle to be sober in his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir,” which Driver said was “incredibly hard” to read.

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Driver and Perry starred in the London production of “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” in 2003. PA Images via Getty Images
She said Perry appeared to be in a “good place” during their summer in England. FilmMagic

“[I] had to put it down and pick it up again — it felt unbearable, how much he suffered,” she wrote.

On a positive note, the “Beyond the Lights” actress also recalled the “Fools Rush In” star telling her that releasing his book “exorcised [his demons] in a way.”

“I’m incredibly grateful that he got to have the experience of how much people loved that book, and loved him, outside of ‘Friends,’” she added.

Driver noted, however, that the actor opened up to her about how the weight of playing the beloved Chandler Bing on “Friends” affected him. Michael Ferguson/PHOTOlink/MediaPunch/Shutterstock

The “Phantom of the Opera” actress noted that Perry seemed to be in a “good place” while they were working on the play together and thoroughly enjoyed taking London by storm with her.

She recalled warm summer days in Hyde Park where they would spend time “in the sunshine eating ice-creams” and watching tennis matches at Wimbledon, after which they would have to grab motorbikes and speed back to the theater in time for their performances.

“We had that perfect feeling of enjoying England in the summertime,” she fondly remembered.

Perry publicly struggled with substance abuse during his decade on the show. NBCUniversal
Driver said Perry was “everything we loved about Chandler” and then some. ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Their time in England gave Perry a break from the pressure that came with playing Bing, Driver said.

“‘Some people only want Chandler, and I don’t know that I’m allowed to be anything other than that,’” she quoted him saying during one of their vulnerable chats.

“But he knew that ‘Friends’ was never going to let him go. It was a pretty tight yoke,” the “Chevalier” actress wrote in her essay.

“He was that funny, charming and self-deprecating, but also much more,” she wrote in her essay. Getty Images

“Part of Matthew’s inner struggle was that he was so closely identified with a role that was also beloved to him — one that he was so good at.”

“But it also held him in a specific place, so it felt like a tug of war.”

She added, “I also think if you struggle with addiction and you have this extraordinary, rarefied life where people love you so completely, it’s always difficult to come to terms with the possibility of your fallibility.”

Perry died at the age of 54 on Oct. 28. REUTERS

In addition to being an affectionate bright light, Driver described Perry as “ruthlessly funny” and selfless.

“You know people say don’t meet your idols?” she penned.

“Everything that we loved about Chandler was in there in Matthew, but it was just the tip of the iceberg.

“He was that funny, charming and self-deprecating, but also much more. He had such a wealth of soul,” she concluded.

The “17 Again” star died from the “acute effects of ketamine” but also had other prescription and over-the-counter drugs in his system. REUTERS

Driver previously paid tribute to her friend and former co-star after his death by sharing an Instagram photo of him sitting on a couch with a warm grin on his face.

“I think you’d finally found peace in your life,” she captioned it.

“I will remember just how much we laughed when we worked together, and how kind and incredibly funny you were.”

In November 2022, Perry said he didn’t wish to be remembered as just his comical character on “Friends,” but as someone who was always willing to help others.

He wanted to be remembered as someone who helped others turn to a sober lifestyle. Youtube

“I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker,” the actor said on the “Q with Tom Power” podcast at the time.

“And his paramount thing is that he wants to help people. That’s what I want.”

He added, “The best thing about me, bar none, is that if somebody comes to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?’ I can say, ‘Yes,’ and follow up and do it.”

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