Former Warner Bros. Exec Recalls Casting Matthew Perry in ‘Friends’

Former Warner Bros Exec Recalls Casting Matthew Perry
Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Matthew Perry’s former colleague mirrored on a really particular second within the late actor’s profession following his surprising demise.

David Janollari, former head of comedy at Warner Bros., wrote an essay for The Hollywood Reporter through which he shared the story behind casting Perry in what turned his most memorable function, Chandler Bing on Mates.

The tv government mentioned that to ensure that Mates to be successful, he and creators Marta Kauffman, David Crane and Kevin Vibrant knew that the six essential solid members all needed to be “stars.”

“The chemistry needed to be plausible,” Janollari wrote within the shifting tribute, which was revealed on Tuesday, October 31. “You simply needed to love them. And nobody was extra elusive than Chandler.”

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Mates premiered on NBC in September 1994, introducing viewers to 6 characters who would rapidly turn out to be followers’ lifelong friends. The comedy, which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004, has turn out to be a multigenerational hit. Creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman managed to make on a regular basis life in New York Metropolis relatable to the plenty by way of […]

Janollari mentioned that simply days earlier than the studio was set to begin manufacturing on the pilot episode, execs had but to solid Chandler and Rachel. The remainder of the solid — David Schwimmer as Ross, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe, Courteney Cox as Monica and Matt LeBlanc as Joey — had already been secured.

Former Warner Bros Exec Recalls Casting Matthew Perry

David Janollari and Matthew Perry on the eighth Annual Lili Claire Basis Profit
E. Charbonneau/WireImage

Whereas attending a run-through of a failing CBS pilot with head of casting Barbara Miller, Janollari mentioned he seen “one vibrant spot within the present” — Matthew Perry. “He actually stole the present,” Janollari recalled.

Since Perry was showing as a visitor star on the opposite collection, Janollari prompt that he costar in one other present they had been creating, leading to a lightbulb second that may change the course of TV historical past.

“On the time we had been additionally casting one other pilot for NBC, and we couldn’t discover one of the best pal costar,” he wrote. “I turned to Barbara and mentioned, ‘What about Matthew for that pilot?’ Then we turned our consideration again to the run-through, and like that a-ha second in a film that you just actually don’t imagine occurs in actual life, we each turned to one another with eyes extensive open and mentioned on the identical time, ‘Chandler!’”

“We known as him in instantly to learn for Chandler, and the remaining is historical past,” Janollari continued. “It was magic.” Jennifer Aniston landed the function of Rachel, and the Mates crew was solidified.

Janollari additionally shared that over time of working collectively, Perry turned “an actual pal.”

Former Warner Bros Exec Recalls Casting Matthew Perry

(L-R) Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox and Matt LeBlanc
Warner Brothers Tv/Fotos Worldwide/Getty Pictures

“I obtained to know him personally by way of mutual mates, recreation nights (look out for Matthew at operating charades!) and wallyball (volleyball inside a racquetball courtroom),” he mentioned. “True to character, Matthew was fiercely aggressive!”

Janollari continued: “His dedication to his sober residing home, his current autobiography and his dedication to assist others in want impressed many battling addictions. A very hilarious man. A ravishing sort soul. An actual pal.”

Perry was discovered lifeless at his Los Angeles house on Saturday, October 28, on the age of 54. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner later mentioned Perry’s reason for demise was “deferred” pending a toxicology report.