Los Angeles: Actor Matthew Perry, who is best known for essaying the role of the sarcastic and wise-cracking Chandler Bing, had almost missed out on getting the gig.
Perry, who died at the age of 54, recalled during a 2015 appearance on ‘Late Night With Seth Meyers’ how he almost lost his shot at starring in the sit-com. Perry recalled becoming desperate for work in 1994 after his “terrible” manager told him he had “no money.”
“This happened to be the year that ‘Friends’ was shot, but I was off the market because I had taken a job on a pilot called ‘LAX 2194’ that was about baggage handlers at L.A. Airport in the year 2194,” he explained.
Detailing that one incident, he added: “So I was wearing a futuristic shirt, and little people played the aliens in which I had to sort out the aliens’ luggage and that was basically the show.”
While he was committed to the role on his pilot, the ’17 Again’ star also recalled receiving a script for ‘Friends’, adding: “It was hilarious and great. There was this part that was perfect for me and it was making me crazy that I couldn’t go up for it because of the baggage handlers show. I was losing my mind.”
However, it would seem that fate had something else planned for him as an executive at Fox watched the pilot of ‘LAX 2194’ and called it “the worst thing we’ve ever seen in our lives.”
He recalled the executive saying: “He is available. You can hire him for your little show called ‘Friends Like Us’ that then became ‘Friends’,” according to ‘People’.
Perry went to star alongside Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow for 10 seasons on the NBC comedy, which ran from 1994 to 2004. The show, which won several accolades and has been touted as one of the greatest sit-coms of all times, became a defining part of Perry’s career.
Even though he starred in several other projects after that such as ’17 Again’, ‘Almost Heroes’, ‘The Whole Nine Yards’, ‘The Whole Ten Yards’, ‘The Ron Clark Story’, ‘Fools Rush In’, ‘The Kid’, and even as a frequent host on ‘Saturday Night Live’ where he parodied the show, ‘Friends’ ended up defining his career.
The actor died at the age of 54, having been found deceased in a bathtub at his home. However, no cause of death has been uncovered at this time as there are no signs of either drug or alcohol abuse, mental illness, or some kind of crime.