Matthew Perry has revealed that he was forced to pull out of Netflix movie Don’t Look Up after a medical scare.
In an extract from his upcoming memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, the Friends star revealed that he was originally set to appear in Adam McKay’s Netflix comedy.
Matthew was cast as a Republican journalist in the film – which he described in the extract as the “biggest movie I’d gotten ever” – and would have shared scenes with Meryl Streep. He had even filmed a scene with Jonah Hill before he pulled out of production.
The actor wrote that he was already taking pain opioid hydrocodone at the time, had walked into a rehabilitation centre while off-set and lied to doctors about having stomach pain in order to get prescribed more.
To help with his apparent pain, doctors decided to have Matthew undergo surgery to “put some kind of weird medical device in my back”. He took hydrocodone the night before his surgery and was administered anaesthesia drug propofol during the surgery, the combination of which stopped his heart for five minutes.
“I was given the shot at 11:00 am,” Matthew recalled in his memoir. “I woke up 11 hours later in a different hospital… It wasn’t a heart attack – I didn’t flatline – but nothing had been beating.”
He concluded that the incident put him in too much pain to return to Don’t Look Up, which also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett, and called the decision to exit the movie “heartbreaking”.