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Director James "Jim" Burrows, who directed most of the first season of Friends and a few key episodes in later seasons, spoke with Today about his thoughts on Perry and his death, as well as how the cast reacted after hearing the news.
"I had to have a couple of days to just let it soak in. He was part of a family and he was the first one to not be part of that family anymore,” said Burrows, explaining his emotional response to Perry's death.
Referring to the cast, Burrows went on, “I had texted the girls the day we found out. They were destroyed. It’s a brother dying.”
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The Emmy-winning director also spoke about Perry's talent for comedy, saying, “He was incredibly inventive. He was inventive with how he did a line...Wow. The reading around the table. Matthew had a certain way of turning a line."
“He was really funny. He was a little awkward, too. Chandler was awkward. And Matthew was awkward. So it was a perfect, perfect meld," he went on, before referencing a specific Friends episode, "The One with the Blackout," in which Chandler is stuck in an ATM vestibule with Victoria’s Secret model Jill Goodacre.
Burrows described Perry's attention to detail in the episode, telling Today, "His facial expressions were amazing and Matthew could always cut to his face. He was always aware that even though he wasn’t speaking, he was on camera.”
The director also spoke a little about Perry's work over the past few years talking openly about his personal struggles with addiction and other things in public and his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, saying, “We were so proud of him these last couple of years that he was making a remarkable recovery."
After looking at all of Perry's accomplishments, both professionally and personally, Burrows shared exactly how he wanted Perry to be remembered: “As a wonderful actor, a funny man and a dear friend to a lot of people."