Matthew Perry was unable to appear in Adam McKay's political satire, Don’t Look Up, after his heart stopped for five minutes. Perry recalls the frightening incident in his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, an excerpt of which was published in Rolling Stone on Tuesday.
Perry explained that he was able to film one scene with Jonah Hill as a Republican journalist, but was unable to return to set and ended up at a rehab center in Switzerland.
He also said that he had to have a “weird medical device” put in his back because he was lying to his doctors about having severe stomach pain in order to get a hydrocodone prescription.
“I was given the shot at eleven a.m.,” Perry wrote. “I woke up 11 hours later in a different hospital. Apparently, the propofol had stopped my heart. For five minutes.”
Perry went on to clarify that he didn't suffer a heart attack and that his iconic role in Friends may have saved his life.
He continued: “I didn’t flatline — but nothing had been beating. 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.
“If I hadn’t been on ‘Friends,’ would he have stopped at three minutes?” Perry continued. “Did ‘Friends’ save my life again?”
The entire incident left Perry in too much pain to continue his work on Don’t Look Up.