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Matthew Perry Opens Up About Having To Drop Out Of Major Film After His Heart Stopped For Five Minutes

The 'Friends' actor was slated to star opposite Meryl Streep in 'Don't Look Up.

Matthew Perry
Alex B. Huckle/Getty Images

Among the star studded cast brought on for Adam McKay's political satire Don't Look Up, one didn't make it to the final cut. Actor Matthew Perry was initially slated to make an appearance in the movie, but was later forced to pull out after a shocking health scare.

Perry's role was expected to be a Conservative journalist who shared several scenes conducting interviews with actor Meryl Streep's character. Unfortunately, he was left no choice but to leave the movie after his heart stopped during a surgical procedure gone wrong.

The actor details this experience in his upcoming memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing which will come out on November 1.

See a sneak peek below:

In the memoir, Perry elaborates during the filming for Don't Look Up he checked into a Swiss luxury rehab clinic.

While there, Perry enjoyed amenities like his own private butler and an overlook of Lake Geneva. However, things eventually went sour when his drug cravings started to kick in.

The actor admits he began to mislead his physicians into thinking he was experiencing crippling pain.

"In fact I was okay. It still felt like I was doing a constant sit up so it was very uncomfortable, but it wasn't pain."

Doctors began prescribing Perry hydrocodone in the hopes it would reduce his suffering. However, when that didn't work the medical staff opted to try a surgical intervention instead.

Leading to his operation, Perry claims he stayed up all night taking hydrocodone. The following morning he was administered Propofol—an anesthetic agent that places patients under sedation.

With the hydrocodone still in his system the addition of Propofol effectively stopped his heart.

"I was given the shot at 11 a.m. I woke up 11 hours later in a different hospital. Apparently, the Propofol had stopped my heart. For five minutes. It wasn't a heart attack—I didn't flatline—but nothing had been beating."

Doctors rushed to Perry's assistance with one dedicated surgeon who gave him chest compressions for five minutes straight.

"I was told 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? Did Friends save my life again?"
"He may have saved my life, but he broke eight of my ribs."

Social media shared support for the star.

Luckily, Perry has since gotten the help he needs and is 18 months sober.

He now looks to rebound from his addiction after spending a total of nine million dollars on his sobriety.

If you or someone you know suffers from addiction, help is available. Contact the American Addiction Centers hotline at 888-744-0069.