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Matthew Perry opened up about his anxiety during 'Friends' reunion

Perry shared with his co-stars the anxiety he felt when they filmed "Friends" in front of an audience.
/ Source: TODAY

Matthew Perry's "Friends" character, Chandler Bing, was always quick with a hilarious quip. But behind the scenes, Perry struggled with the pressures of filming in front of a live studio audience.

Perry opened up about his anxiety while chatting with former co-stars Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox during the “Friends” reunion special, now streaming on HBO Max.

"At least to me, I felt like I was going to die if they didn’t laugh," Perry told his castmates.

He added, "It’s not healthy, for sure, but I would sometimes say a line and they wouldn’t laugh and I would sweat and just, like, go into convulsions. If I didn’t get the laugh I was supposed to get, I would freak out."

"You didn't tell us that then," said Kudrow. "I don't remember you ever saying that."

"Oh, yeah," Perry responded. "I felt like that every single night."

Perry has been candid in the past about struggling with substance abuse while filming "Friends," which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004 on NBC.

"I don't remember three years of it," the actor revealed during a 2016 appearance on BBC Radio 2's "The Chris Evans Breakfast Show."

Alluding to previous rehab stints he'd undergone to deal with his addictions to alcohol and prescription drugs, Perry explained, "A little bit of the time, I was a little out of it, yeah."

Perry gathered with his former "Friends" co-stars to share memories, both good and bad, from the show.Terence Patrick / HBO Max

Later during the reunion special, Perry talked about the affection all six "Friends" stars still have for one another. Over the years, cast members have always been eager to catch up with one another, he said.

"After the show was over at a party or any kind of social gathering, if one of us bumped into each other, that was it, that was the end of the night. You just sat with the person all night long," said Perry.

"It's true, I remember that," responded LeBlanc.

Perry added, "You apologized to the people you were with, but they had to understand you had met somebody special to you and you were going to talk to that person for the rest of the night."

Struggling to hold back tears, Cox agreed, too.

"I'm not laughing, I'm crying because it's so true," she said.

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