Two weeks after the death of Matthew Perry, Chandler in Friends, who died in his home in Los Angeles on October 28, at just 54 years old, his colleagues from the series have begun to say goodbye publicly to who was their co-star for 10 years and friend for the rest of their lives. On Tuesday, Matt LeBlanc, his roommate Joey, and Courteney Cox, who was his partner in the series, Monica, said their farewells. Then, this Wednesday, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston y David Schwimmer, who played Phoebe Buffay, Rachel Green and Ross Geller, did the same.
The first to post images and texts was Aniston, who on Wednesday morning used her Instagram profile, with more than 44 million followers, to say farewell to her good friend. “Oh boy this one has cut deep... Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I’ve never experienced before,” reflected the actress. “We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Loss of life or loss of love. Being able to really SIT in this grief allows you to feel the moments of joy and gratitude for having loved someone that deep. And we loved him deeply. He was such a part of our DNA. We were always the 6 of us. This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be.”
“Matty, he KNEW he loved to make people laugh,” the 54-year-old actress continues. “As he said himself, if he didn’t hear the ‘laugh’ he thought he was going to die. His life literally depended on it. And boy did he succeed in doing just that. He made all of us laugh. And laugh hard. I’ve been pouring over our texts to one another. Laughing and crying then laughing again. I’ll keep them forever and ever.” The actress added: “Rest little brother. You always made my day…”
For his part, David Schwimmer, 56, who played Ross Geller (Monica’s brother and Chandler’s brother-in-law in Friends), has followed in the wake of his colleagues by posting on his Instagram profile, with 7.8 million followers, an image of both at a moment in the series, where they were dressed in the style of the eighties, accompanied by a text. “Thank you for ten incredible years of laughter and creativity. I will never forget your impeccable comic timing and delivery. You could take a straight line of dialogue and bend it to your will, resulting in something so entirely original and unexpectedly funny it still astonishes. And you had heart. Which you were generous with, and shared with us, so we could create a family out of six strangers.”
“This photo,” Schwimmer recalls, “is from one of my favorite moments with you. Now it makes me smile and grieve at the same time. I imagine you up there, somewhere, in the same white suit, hands in your pockets, looking around — ”Could there BE any more clouds?” Perry always gave credit to all the help he received from his friends, and in his book Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing he recognized that it was Schwimmer who had proposed that the six together renegotiate the conditions of their contract in the series. Thanks to this, they pocketed more than a million dollars per episode.
The last to speak out was Lisa Kudrow. The actress, 60, posted an old photo on her Instagram profile, with 10 million followers, along with a text dedicated to Perry. “Shot the pilot, Friends Like Us, got picked up then immediately, we were at the NBC Upfronts. Then… You suggested we play poker AND made it so much fun while we initially bonded. Thank you for that. Thank you for making me laugh so hard at something you said, that my muscles ached, and tears poured down my face EVERY DAY. Thank you for your open heart in a six way relationship that required compromise. And a lot of ‘talking.’ Thank you for showing up at work when you weren’t well and then, being completely brilliant. Thank you for the best 10 years a person gets to have. Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for all I learned about GRACE and LOVE through knowing you. Thank you for the time I got to have with you, Matthew.”
Although the six actors became a family between 1994 and 2004, when they filmed Friends on the Warner Bros. sets in Los Angeles (California), they later maintained less frequent contact with each other. Nevertheless, as they used to say, every time they saw each other at an event, on a red carpet or at a party, the unbreakable nature of their union became evident. They were also always there for each other. Perry said in his memoirs that when he started filming the series, at the age of 24, he already had certain difficulties with alcohol, which became more complicated as the years went by: “I could handle it, kind of, but by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble.” His co-stars tried to help him get out of them. In the book, he told how Aniston showed up one day in his dressing room and said, “‘We can smell it,’ in a kind of weird but loving way,” letting him know that the five of them knew that he had relapsed into drinking. Another time they came to make an intervention, also in his dressing room, to try to help him. In line with the memoirs, Lisa Kudrow (who played Phoebe), and for now the only one who has not made her farewell public, told the newspaper The New York Times: “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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