Matthew Perry is one of the most loved actors in the world for his portrayal of Chandler Bing from the hit NBC sitcom FRIENDS. Chandler was one of the funniest characters in the show, which saw some great success due to his role in the series. Although Perry portrayed the role of the ‘funny guy‘ in the series, it is a lesser-known fact to fans that his sense of humor extended beyond the role on the show.
In fact, it was his sense of humor and charm that got Julia Roberts to appear as a celebrity guest star in one of the episodes of the show.
Matthew Perry reached out to Julia Roberts for her FRIENDS appearance
Back in 2021, co-creator Marta Kauffman, staff writer Alexa Junge, and producer Kevin S. Bright of FRIENDS appeared for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Kauffman and Bright recalled how they got one of the most famous guest stars, Julia Roberts on the show. Kaufmann said,
“Getting Julia Roberts was incredibly exciting. We knew she would have the right touch for it. And when she said yes, it was pretty awesome.”
Bright also weighed in at this point and remembered that it was Matthew Perry who first reached out to Roberts for the role. He said,
“Do you know the story of how we got her? Matthew asked her to be on the show. She wrote back to him, “Write me a paper on quantum physics and I’ll do it.” My understanding is that Matthew went away and wrote a paper and faxed it to her the next day.”
Julia Roberts appeared on FRIENDS for a two-part episode of season 2 named, “The One After the Superbowl” in which she played the love interest of Perry’s character. The episode went on to become the most-viewed episode in the history of the show, with more than almost 52.9 million viewers.
The Mr. Sunshine actor went to date Julia Roberts for almost a year
Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts went on to date for almost a year after the episode “The One After the Superbowl” aired back in 1996. Alexa Junge further talked about Perry and Julia Roberts’ initial flirting off the show, revealing the crew initially helped Perry come up with witty and funny replies for the Oscar-winning actress. She said,
“They may have met before the episode, but she was interested in him from afar because he’s so charming. There was a lot of flirting over faxing. She was giving him these questionnaires like, “Why should I go out with you?” And everyone in the writer’s room helped him explain to her why. He could do pretty well without us, but there was no question we were on Team Matthew and trying to make it happen for him.”
In Matthew Perry’s tell-all memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, which came out last year, the actor revealed that although he had very strong feelings for the Runaway Bride actress, he could not deal with the pressure that came along with dating a high-profile celebrity like Roberts. Therefore, despite their undeniable chemistry, the couple decided to go their separate ways a year later.
All 10 seasons of FRIENDS are currently streaming on HBO Max.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter