Matthew Perry Regrets Dissing Keanu Reeves in His Book

matthew perry, keanu reeves
Matthew Perry Regrets Dissing Keanu Reeves in BookHearst Owned

Matthew Perry is still cringing from the ill-advised dig he made about Keanu Reeves in his memoir. The actor shared stories from his life, career, and struggles with addiction in the 2022 book Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, and during one anecdote in which he reflected on the loss of actor River Phoenix, Perry misjudged the cultural mood and Reeves' continued popularity by implying that he would be missed less.

"River was a beautiful man, inside and out — too beautiful for this world, it turned out," Perry wrote. "It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down. Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?"

Putting aside the poor taste of suggesting that any person's life is worth more or less than another's, Perry had clearly been elsewhere while the "Keanu-ssance" was happening, with the John Wick franchise and fourth Matrix movie making Reeves as relevant and universally beloved now as he was in the Nineties.

But Perry was quick to apologize for the line after the book was published, saying that he should have substituted his own name instead. And during a recent interview at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the former Friends star announced that any mention of Reeves will be edited out of all future editions of the memoir.

"I said a stupid thing. It was a mean thing to do,” Perry said. “I pulled his name because I live on the same street. I’ve apologized publicly to him. Any future versions of the book will not have his name in it... If I run into the guy, I’ll apologize. It was just stupid."

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