Matthew Perry almost appeared in last year’s divisive climate change film, Don’t Look Up, if it wasn’t for one small problem: His heart stopped for five minutes. Writing in his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry opened up about missing out on a chance to star in the Adam McKay film. According to Perry, he was cast as a Republican journalist and was set to have at least three scenes with Meryl Streep. Perry even flew to Boston to meet with McKay who loved his “on-the-fly pitches” so much that they reportedly made it into the film.
However, things went south while Perry was getting surgery at a rehab in Switzerland. The actor, who’s been open about his years-long battle with addiction, was getting “some kind of weird medical device in my back” to help him deal with abdominal pain.
The procedure did not go well. Via Rolling Stone:
“I was given the shot at 11:00 a.m.,” he writes. “I woke up eleven hours later in a different hospital. Apparently, the propofol had stopped my heart. For five minutes. It wasn’t a heart attack — I didn’t flatline — but nothing had been beating. I was told that some beefy Swiss guy really didn’t want the guy from Friends dying on his table and did CPR on me for the full five minutes, beating and pounding my chest. If I hadn’t been on Friends, would he have stopped at three minutes? Did Friends save my life again?
“He may have saved my life, but he also broke eight of my ribs,” he adds.
The heart-stopping incident wasn’t Perry’s only brush with death. He reportedly was given a “two percent chance to live” after years of opioid abuse caused his colon to burst. He spent weeks in a coma and five months in the hospital. The incident was a wake-up call that led to him now being “safely sober” and able to write a memoir to help others battling addiction.
(Via Rolling Stone)