- Matthew Perry revealed how Bruce Willis ended up as a guest on ‘Friends’.
- Perry said his movie “The Whole Nine Yards” wasn’t sure the movie would be a success, so they bet on it.
- Willis lost the bet, so he appeared in Season 6 as Paul Stevens.
Matthew Perry said the Emmy-winning role of Bruce Willis on Friends happened because the “Die Hard” star lost a bet to a sitcom actor.
In his new memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” released Tuesday, Perry mentioned meeting Willis through their roles as Oz Oseransky and Jimmy Tudeski, respectively, in the 2000 comedy “The Whole Nine Yards.” .
Berry said they developed a friendship while working on the film, even though he was struggling with his alcohol and drug addictions at the time.
“There was a huge difference between me and Bruce,” Berry said. “Bruce was a participant; I was addicted. Bruce has a play button. He can party like crazy, then have a script like ‘The Sixth Sense’ and stop partying and quietly install the movie. Gene — he’s not addicted.”
He continued, “Despite the party, we were all professionals in this movie and were able to please a large crowd.”
Bruce wasn’t sure the movie would ever work, and I bet he would – if he lost, he had to take a guest spot on ‘Friends’.
“The Whole Nine Yards” grossed $106 million worldwide and became the number one movie in America for three consecutive weeks.
After Willis lost the bet, he guest starred on Season 6 of Friends as Paul Stevens, the father of a college girl who dated Ross Geller (David Schwimmer).
Over the course of the three episodes he appeared in, Paul also had a short romance with Jennifer Aniston’s character, Rachel Green. Willis’ performance even led the star to win an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.
Perry and Willis reunited a few years later in the sequel to The Whole Nine Yards, which failed at the box office.
“If The Whole Nine Yards was the beginning of my movie star, it would be fair to say The Whole Ten Yards was the end,” said Berry.
Regardless, Perry said he has fond memories of getting to know Willis beyond his off-camera movie star persona.
“Sometimes, at the end of the night, when the sun was about to rise and everyone was gone, and the party was over, Bruce and I would sit and talk,” he said. “That’s when I saw the real Bruce Willis – a kind-hearted, caring, selfless guy. A wonderful father. A wonderful actor. And most importantly, a good man.”
“If he wanted me to be, I would be his friend for life,” Berry added. “But as with a lot of these things, our paths rarely cross after that.”
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