Matthew Perry talks addiction, redemption and ‘Friends’ with Diane Sawyer Friday

In an ABC special airing Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Matthew Perry sits down with Diane Sawyer to discuss his sobriety, fame, and his life today, as written about in his new memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.

Perry’s book details his hard-fought, nearly fatal battle with addiction. At one point, he was taking 55 Vicodin pills a day. “Addiction is the obsession of your mind: ‘Now give me everything you gave me before and more,"” Perry says. “I had to wake up and realize I need to get 55 of them, or I was going to be really sick.”

To fill the need, Perry says, he’d fake illnesses like migraines, even enduring MRIs to help sell the doctors on giving him prescriptions. “I guess the weirdest thing I did was on Sundays, I would go to open houses and go to the bathrooms…and see what pills they had in there and steal them,” Perry recalls. “And I think they thought, ‘Well, there’s no way that Chandler came in and stole from us."”

The actor is now in a better place, thanks to a strong support system. “Alone you lose to the disease,” he says. “And now I finally feel okay and feel like I’ve got some strength.”

The book also highlights the good times in his life. Perry says he had a “chain crush” on his Friends cast mates Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow. “Well, how do you not have a crush on Jenny and Courteney and Lisa?” he smiles.

He tells Sawyer, “It made it kind of difficult to go to work because I had to pretend that I didn’t exist.” He says of Aniston, “I was kept wondering, ‘How long can I just look at her? Is three seconds too long?"”

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