UPDATE: Matthew Perry has issued an apology, saying “I’m actually a big fan of Keanu. I just chose a random name, my mistake. I apologize. I should have used my own name instead,” in a statement to People.
Perry’s upcoming memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” includes more than a handful of revelations, including Perry having to exit a movie after his heart stopped for five minutes, but perhaps the most shocking is a pair of seemingly out-of-nowhere digs Perry throws at fellow actor Keanu Reeves. At two points in the memoir, Perry questions why Reeves is still alive when “talented” actors and “original thinkers” like River Phoenix and Chris Farley had tragic deaths.
“The list of geniuses who were ahead of their time is too long to detail here — suffice to say, near the top of any such list should be my costar in ‘A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon,’ River Phoenix,” Perry writes.
Perry continues later on, “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? 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.”
Keanu Reeves is cited again when Perry writes about the death of comedian Chris Farley. “His disease had progressed faster than mine had. (Plus, I had a healthy fear of the word ‘heroin,’ a fear we did not share),” Perry writes. “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.”
“Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing” is now available for pre-order and releases on Nov. 1. Other revelations in the book include Perry admitting that he’s spent approximately $9 million on his collective attempts to stay sober and Perry revealing he nearly died in 2018 because of opioid overuse.