Friends star Matthew Perry is doing something about the rather unfriendly remarks he made about actor Keanu Reeves in his 2022 memoir.
Perry, who questioned why Reeves “still walks among us” in his book Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, announced Saturday at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books he would omit Reeves’ name from all future editions. The book is available in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook formats, but the paperback version won’t be released until June 4, 2024.
The sitcom actor, 53, already apologized for the references prior to the memoir’s release on November 1, saying the use of Reeves’ name was random and without malice. But he decided to go a step further with this decision.
“I said a stupid thing. It was a mean thing to do,” Perry told the crowd on Saturday, according to CNN.
What Did Perry Say About Reeves?
In the book, which quickly became a New York Times and Amazon bestseller, Perry openly discusses his rise to acting fame, dating history, and battles with alcohol and drug addiction.
In one section, he pays tribute to late actor River Phoenix, his co-star in the 1988 film A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon. But in his attempt to offer praise, Perry also takes a shot at Reeves.
“It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down,” Perry writes. “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.”
Perry later makes a similar comment while talking about the death of comedian Chris Farley in 1997: “I punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston’s dressing room wall when I found out [about Farley’s death]. Keanu Reeves walks among us.”
When the New York Post and Variety shared excerpts of the book prior to its release, the references drew backlash from fans and celebrities like West Side Story (2021) actor Rachel Zegler, who tweeted she was “personally thrilled that keanu reeves walks among us.”
Perry said in October he is a fan of Reeves and made a mistake using his name. “I should have used my own name instead,” he said in a statement to People.
Perry further explained this weekend that he only chose Reeves for his comparison because they live on the same street.
Has Perry Talked to Reeves?
No, but Perry said at the festival Saturday he plans to personally make amends with the John Wick actor. “If I run into the guy, I’ll apologize. It was just stupid,” he said.
The changes to his memoir suggest Perry is taking the reconciliation effort seriously.
Tyler Piccotti joined the Biography.com staff in 2023, and before that had worked almost eight years as a newspaper reporter and copy editor. He is a graduate of Syracuse University, an avid sports fan, a frequent moviegoer, and trivia buff.