Skip to main content

Home Film Film News

Matthew Perry apologises for controversial Keanu Reeves comments

In a series of apparently random pot-shots, Perry questioned why Reeves "still walks among us"

By Nick Reilly

Matthew Perry and Keanu Reeves (Picture: Alamy)

Friends star Matthew Perry has apologised after facing backlash for asking why Keanu Reeves “still walks among us” in his new book.

The actor, 53, launched the controversial attack in his new memoir  Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing, which sees him open up about his well-documented battles with addiction and substance abuse.

In a series of excerpts shared ahead of the book’s release, Perry appeared to take a random shot at Matrix star Reeves when discussing the tragic passing of actors such as Heath Ledger and River Phoenix.

“River was a beautiful man, inside and out — too beautiful for this world, it turned out. It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down. Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?,” he wrote.

“River was a better actor than me; I was funnier. But I certainly held my own in our scenes — no small feat, when I look back decades later.” Perry wrote in one section.

The actor, best known for his role as hapless Chandler Bing in the iconic US show, also mentioned Reeves when discussing his emotional reaction to the death of late SNL comic Chris Farley from an overdose in 1997.

Discussing the moment that he heard of the star’s death, Perry wrote: “His disease had progressed faster than mine had. (Plus, I had a healthy fear of the word ‘heroin,’ a fear we did not share).

“I punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston’s dressing room wall when I found out. Keanu Reeves walks among us. I had to promote ‘Almost Heroes’ two weeks after he died; I found myself publicly discussing his death from drugs and alcohol. I was high the entire time.”

While the comments sparked immediate backlash, Perry has now told People that he was sorry and that he had actually chosen the name randomly.

“I’m actually a big fan of Keanu,” said the actor. “I just chose a random name, my mistake. I apologise. I should have used my own name instead.”

Stand By Me star Phoenix died in 1993 after a drug overdose at the age of 23. Ledger died in 2008 aged 28 as a result of an accidental medical overdose.