Matthew Perry Recalls Exiting Don’t Look Up After His Heart Stopped for 5 Minutes

In a new excerpt from his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Matthew Perry revealed he had to exit the Netflix film, Don’t Look Up, due to a medical emergency.

By Kisha Forde Oct 26, 2022 1:22 PMTags
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Matthew Perry is looking back on the medical scare that changed the course of his personal and professional life.
In his forthcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, the actor—who has recently shared details of his addiction battle—revealed he landed a role in Adam McKay's star-studded 2021 Netflix film, Don't Look Up. According to Rolling Stone, the Friends alum shared that amid filming, he spent time at a rehab center in Switzerland.
While there, the actor said that he lied to his doctors about the severity of his stomach pain in order to obtain the drug hydrocodone. In order to help with his pain, Perry explained that doctors decided he would have to undergo surgery, during which, he was administered the anesthesia drug propofol. And since the actor took hydrocodone the night before, it was a combination that stopped his heart.

"I was given the shot at 11:00 a.m.," Perry wrote, per the publication. "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."

Friends' Matthew Perry Shares He Was in a Coma for 2 Weeks Amid Addiction Battle

Then the medical staff stepped in. "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," he added. "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," the actor continued. "But he also broke eight of my ribs."

Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

Perry noted after the incident, he was in too much pain to return to the set of Don't Look Up, adding that making the decision to exit the film was a "heartbreaking" one. The one scene that the actor did end up filming—which, per the outlet, featured Jonah Hill—did not make the movie's final cut.
Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing is set for release on Nov. 1.

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