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“Bruce was a partier; I was an addict”: Matthew Perry Recalls Wild Partying Days With FRIENDS Co-Star Bruce Willis, Regrets Losing Him as a Close Friend

Matthew Perry bruce willis

In his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Matthew Perry, the FRIENDS star, best known for his role as the ever-so-iconic Chandler Bing, opened up about various behind-the-scene details about the sensationally revered 90s sitcom. Additionally, he took a deep dive into the depths of his struggles with addiction. As claimed by several critics, the biography is deeply personal and intimate, yet oddly familiar, and honest.

Matthew Perry in Friends
Matthew Perry in Friends

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In one of the chapters, titled, “Bruce Willis”, the book offers everyone a glimpse into Perry’s friendship with The Sixth Sense alum. In this chapter, the Fools Rush In actor made a note to draw contrasts between himself and Willis when it came to the matter of potential addictions. Furthermore, he showed his appreciation for the talent, expressing regret over a lost friendship.

Matthew Perry Would Have Crazy Parties With Bruce Willis

Matthew Perry and Bruce Willis in The Whole Ten Yards
Matthew Perry and Bruce Willis in The Whole Ten Yards

Getting to know each other through the 2000 film The Whole Nine Yards, the two celebrities would often indulge themselves in nonstop partying. However, a quality that Matthew Perry seemed to have appreciated in his co-star and dear friend Bruce Willis is that the latter knew when to call it quits. The Die Hard star had, as Perry alleges, an “on-off button.” The following is how the Friends alum recalls it, in his much-anticipated memoir:

“There was a big difference between Bruce and me. Bruce was a partier; I was an addict. Bruce has an on-off button. He can party like crazy, then get a script like The Sixth Sense and stop the partying and nail the movie sober. He doesn’t have the gene—he’s not an addict.”

Perry also reflected on the moments when he could sincerely cherish Willis for the man he was in reality, past the glitz and glamor of the Hollywood industry. The 17 Again actor wrote in his memoir of those moments, after the nonstop partying, where just before the sun would rise, the two actors would sit in the quiet and engage in earnest, profound, and wholehearted conversations with one another. 

Matthew Perry appreciated Bruce Willis for being "a good guy."
Matthew Perry appreciated Bruce Willis for being “a good guy.”

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To further express his admiration for the uber-authentic and sincere talent, Perry wrote the following regarding what he felt about Willis during their late-night talking sessions:

“That’s when I saw the real Bruce Willis. A good-hearted man, a caring man, selfless. A wonderful parent. And a wonderful actor. And most importantly, a good guy.”

Therefore, it can be ascertained that the FRIENDS star was full of compliments and cordial sentiments when it came to writing about his old friend, who he sadly has lost touch with in recent years.

Matthew Perry Prays For Bruce Willis Constantly

Bruce Willis retired from acting
Bruce Willis retired from acting due to aphasia

Earlier this year, the world had to come to terms with a piece of gravely disheartening news. As confirmed by his family on Instagram, Bruce Willis retired from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia. Aphasia has a significant negative influence on communication abilities. It can have an impact on a person’s ability to talk, write, understand, and use both oral and written languages.

Therefore, the condition causes an impairment in the capacity to understand or make meaning of words.

Matthew Perry is known for portraying Chandler Bing.
Friends star Matthew Perry keeps Bruce Willis in his prayers

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In his memoir, Matthew Perry mentioned that despite having lost touch with the Die Hard alum, he constantly keeps him in his prayers, following the unfortunate revelation that made its way to the public earlier this year. This is how it was written:

“…But as is the way with so many of these things, our paths rarely crossed after that. I, of course, pray for him every night now.”

When the news initially broke, Perry was amongst the many who extended his condolences and best wishes to Bruce Willis. Even now, the Birds of America alum enthusiastically looks up to his co-star, wishing to rekindle the bond that they lost, owing to what we call life and its many arduous circumstances.

One can only hope and pray that the two buddies can reconnect in the future and enjoy some late-night conversations for the sake of the good old days.

Matthew Perry’s memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing is out on 1st November 2022.

Source: EW (via Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir)

Written by Debdipta Bhattacharya

Always having had a deep fascination for content creation and pop-culture, Debdipta joined as a writer at FandomWire in 2022. Currently pursuing an undergraduate Mass Communication degree, Debdipta enjoys the intricacies of cinema and film-making, with a year of screenwriting experience to account for. Besides her knack for writing, she's also an avid reader, a connoisseur of music across all genres, and a die-hard fan of Charlie Kaufman.