Putting on a show. Elizabeth Hurley recalled what it was really like working alongside Matthew Perry amid his addiction battle.
“I have very fond memories of him,” Hurley, 57, told Yahoo! Entertainment on Wednesday, November 9, before reflecting on their 2002 rom-com, Serving Sara. “To be honest, it was a nightmare working with him at that time and, as it’s now known, our movie was shut down because of his addiction.”
The Royals alum explained: “We were in a force majeure and had to all sit at home twiddling our thumbs for some time.”
Perry, 53, detailed his ups and downs with drugs in his 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing. In the book, which hit stores on November 1, the Friends alum revealed that production on Serving Sara was halted so he could go to rehab.
He claimed that both Hurley and their director, Reginald Hudlin, were “pissed off” over the shutdown, which he completely understood.
“That was a little tough,” the English actress said on Wednesday, noting that when Perry returned to set “he was fabulous.” Hurley recalled the 17 Again actor having to “revoice everything that we shot before” his two-month stay at the rehabilitation center.
The Odd Couple alum, for his part, explained in his book that he rerecorded the movie dialogue because he was slurring his words the first time around. “Of course, the movie tanked anyway,” Perry wrote. “I was paid $3.5 million to do the movie and I got sued for the shutdown, even though it was a health issue. At the mediation table a team of insurance flacks faced me down, so I just wrote them a check for $650,000.”
Hurley explained on Wednesday that she was aware at the time that her costar was struggling. “It was tough, obviously he was having a tough time, but he was still very charming and a lovely person to work with,” she told the outlet. “But you could see he was suffering for sure.”
The Christmas in Paradise star explained that while she hasn’t “actually read the book yet,” she has looked over excerpts from Perry’s memoir.
“It’s quite interesting,” Hurley said of the tell-all. “He’s a very funny writer like he’s a very funny man. He’s an incredibly gifted comedian … his way with words is fantastic.”
In 1997, Perry got hooked on Vicodin after he was involved in a jet skiing accident on a film set. He later became addicted to OxyContin following surgery he had for a colon explosion.
His struggle to stay sober lasted for decades — and affected his career and personal life. In his memoir, the Go On alum revealed that he was only totally sober for one season of Friends, which ran from 1994 to 2004.
“People would be surprised to know that I have mostly been sober since 2001,” he wrote in the book, confessing that he’d spent an “upward of $7 million trying to get sober.”
Perry added: “I have been to six thousand AA meetings. (Not an exaggeration, more an educated guess.) I’ve been to rehab fifteen times. I’ve been in a mental institution, gone to therapy twice a week for thirty years, been to death’s door.”