In “Friends” Season 7, Episode 1 (“The One with Monica’s Thunder”), we see Chandler Bing (played by Matthew Perry) looking noticeably thinner than before. This transformation came as a surprise to many viewers, as he appeared to have lost a significant amount of weight since the Season 6 finale (“The One with the Proposal”) where he was proposed to by Monica Geller (played by Courteney Cox).
The reason behind Chandler’s sudden change in appearance was explained by Matthew Perry himself in his memoir titled “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.” Perry revealed that his drastic weight loss was a result of his ongoing battle with addiction. He candidly shared that his weight fluctuations over the seasons could be linked to his struggles with different substances. When he was carrying more weight, it was due to alcohol use, and when he was thinner, it was because of his dependency on pills.
During the filming of the proposal episode and the subsequent Season 7 premiere, Perry lost around 50 pounds during the off-season. This significant weight loss was a visible manifestation of the challenges he was facing in his personal life. As Chandler’s character celebrated his engagement on screen, the actor was privately dealing with his addiction, which made the transformation even more poignant.
But the struggles didn’t end there for Matthew Perry. During the filming of the Season 7 finale, where Chandler and Monica tie the knot, Perry was still battling his addiction. He writes about this poignant moment in his memoir, sharing how he was driven to Warner Bros. Studios by a technician from the Promises addiction treatment center in Malibu to film his scenes. Immediately after filming, he was taken back to the treatment center.
It was a difficult time for Perry, as he was at the height of his career and the peak of “Friends” popularity. Despite his personal struggles, he remained dedicated to his craft and continued to deliver memorable performances as Chandler. This wedding episode was iconic, and while fans were celebrating the on-screen love story, the reality behind the scenes was far from joyous.
Over the years, Matthew Perry made several attempts to get sober, spending approximately $9 million in his pursuit of a clean and healthy lifestyle. It was a challenging journey, but in 2021, he finally achieved sobriety, just before the “Friends: The Reunion” aired on HBO Max. This significant milestone allowed him to participate fully in the much-anticipated reunion with his co-stars, where they reminisced about their time on the beloved show.
Matthew Perry’s triumphant battle with addiction is a testament to his strength and resilience. He may not have followed the same path as Chandler, but he eventually found his way to recovery. Today, he is doing well and continues to be an integral part of the “Friends” legacy, reminding fans of the enduring power of the show and its impact on popular culture.