- Matthew Perry said he met Gwyneth Paltrow in Massachusetts before “Friends” premiered in 1994.
- “At some big party we fell into a broom cupboard and got out,” he said.
- “We were both still unknown enough that we didn’t make the tabloids,” Perry added.
Matthew Perry has said he and Gwyneth Paltrow had a brief romantic encounter in the 1990s before “Friends” premiered and became a cultural phenomenon.
In his new memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” released Tuesday, Perry wrote about how his life changed when “Friends,” in which he starred as Chandler Bing, debuted on NBC in September 1994.
The show, which would go on to run for 10 seasons, starred David Schwimmer (Ross Geller), Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green), Courteney Cox (Monica Geller), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay) and Matt LeBlanc ( Joey Tribbiani).
Perry said he knew the show was poised for success when he first read the script for the sitcom. When the main cast was assembled and their first table read together, he said “all the jokes fell flat” and “ended with thunderous applause”.
“Everybody could smell money,” he recalls. “The cast reeked of fame.”
“This show would work and change everyone’s lives forever,” he said.
The “17 Again” star recalled the cast going through multiple pitches, events where a show is pitched to network affiliates and advertisers, and had a gut feeling that “Friends” would be a hit.
“Then we had to wait a summer before the show aired for the first time,” he wrote. “I filled that summer with three remarkable things – gambling in Vegas at the behest of [‘Friends’ director] Jimmy Burrows; a trip to Mexico by myself. and a makeup in a closet with Gwyneth Paltrow.”
Perry said he met the “Hook” actress in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
“He was doing a show there and I was visiting my grandfather,” he said. “At some big party, we slipped into a broom closet and got out. We were both unknown enough not to make the tabloids, but with that in mind, it fell to Jimmy Burrows to give me a reality check.”
Perry said Burroughs told the cast that their lives would change once the show premiered. So he gave the six cast members $100 to play and have fun in Vegas.
“We six young friends got drunk and gambled and wandered the casinos, just six close strangers on a weekend trip, unknown to anyone, no one asking for autographs or photos, none of us being chased by the paparazzi, a million miles away coming, who it was every moment of our lives being publicly documented for all to see forever,” he said.
“This was the last summer of my life when I could stand out at a party with a beautiful young woman named Gwyneth and nobody but me and Gwyneth cared,” Perry added.
A representative for Paltrow did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.