Matthew Perry was “nervous” about how his buzzy new book would be received, especially considering all the celebrities he’s talking about, but there’s one person who bears no ill will toward the actor: Elizabeth Hurley. While promoting her new movie Christmas in HeavenHurley tells Yahoo Entertainment that she has seen parts of what her former co-star has to say.
Hurley played Perry’s love interest in the 2002 romantic comedy Serving Sarah, most of which were filmed as Perry battled alcohol and drug addiction. Production was abruptly halted so Perry, 53, could go to rehab, which he mentions in the memoir. While the 57-year-old actress admits it was a “nightmare” working with Perry before she got help, she calls him a “wonderful person.”
“I haven’t finished the book yet, but I have read it [excerpts] from this. It’s pretty interesting,” shares Hurley. “He’s a very funny writer as well as a very funny person. He’s an incredibly gifted comedian… his way with words is fantastic.”
Hurley continues, “I have very fond memories of him. To be honest, he was a nightmare to work with at the time and, as is now known, our film was shut down because of his addiction. We were in a situation of force majeure and had to let’s all sit at home twiddling our thumbs for quite some time.”
In Perry’s book Friends, lovers and the big terrible thingwrites that Hurley and director Reginald Hudlin were “pissed off” about the closure — and rightfully so.
“It was a little rough, but he came back and was great,” Hurley recalled.
When Perry, who spent more than two months in a private rehab facility, returned to the set, Hurley remembers The friends alum “had to undo everything we pulled before.” (Perry recently said as much, but admitted his speech was slurred in scenes filmed before the restoration.)
“It was tough, he was obviously going through a tough time, but he was still very charming and a wonderful person to work with,” she recalls, “but you could see he was definitely suffering.”
Perry was shooting The friends in combination with Serving Sarah. The actor told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that he consumed Xanax, methadone and a liter of vodka every day during that time.
“It was filmed in Dallas and I did it The friends at the same time, so it doubled my workload. And I was flying on a private jet drinking vodka from a water bottle,” he said.
“I was 155 pounds, on my way to 128 pounds. I feel so sorry for this guy, he’s going through so much, and it’s me. And I remember that and I didn’t understand what was going on,” Perry added. . “But again, I’m sorry, and I’m so thankful that I’m not that anymore.”
Perry estimates he has spent $9 million trying to get sober, has attended 6,000 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, been to rehab at least 15 times and has spent half his life in treatment or sober homes. The efforts paid off as he has been sober for over 18 months.
MORE: Matthew Perry shares addiction story in new memoir: ‘I’m grateful to be alive’