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Minnie Driver Mourns Late Matthew Perry: ‘He Made People Feel Good’



Minnie Driver has nothing but fond memories of her former costar Matthew Perry.

Driver, 53, met Perry, who died in October, when they both appeared in a 2003 London stage production of Sexual Perversity in Chicago. She collected her thoughts on his legacy in an emotional essay for The Guardian.

“When we were first rehearsing [the play], I wanted to chat to him properly. I was going for lunch with my family, and I remember calling him, saying, ‘Do you mind coming to meet us?’ And he was so easy about it,” the actress wrote in an article posted on Monday, December 18. “The restaurant put us in the back away from people, but when he walked in … the whole place lit up. The whole place smiled.

Driver noted that the Friends alum was “so lovely” to her family before they bonded over the “vulnerability” of performing on stage.It’s funny when you forge a connection over fear, but we did that summer,” she added.

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During their summer together across the pond, Driver and Perry hung out outside of rehearsal, bonding over tennis and enjoying ice cream in Hyde Park.

“Matthew was one of the quickest people you would ever come across, ruthlessly funny in the ways he’d react to people,” Driver wrote. “He wouldn’t let you get away with anything. Invariably, I would tell really long stories and he’d always do this brilliantly timed bit where he’d nod off in the middle — so funny — but he wasn’t mean in any way. He was the most self-deprecating person and really kind. Anyone who asked him for help, he would help.”

News broke on October 28 that Perry had died at the age of 54. Local law enforcement officers had found the actor unresponsive in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home. Two months later, the county’s medical examiner confirmed that Perry died from “the acute effects of ketamine.” Drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine (often used to treat opioid use) were also listed as contributing factors.

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While it is not known why Perry had been taking ketamine, he had long struggled with addiction and went to rehab twice.

“Since Matthew wrote his beautiful book, everybody knows about his struggles with addiction,” Driver wrote on Monday, referring to Perry’s 2022 Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing memoir. “I found it incredibly hard to read and had to put it down and pick it up again — it felt unbearable, how much he suffered.”

She added: “He had been in a good place when we were doing the play, but the thing about him was he was like a light. He was one of those people who just made other people feel good. Somehow, they don’t suck you down into their sadness, or their pain, and I know now that his pain was great.”

Us Weekly’s special issue dedicated to Matthew Perry is available now.

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