Matthew Perry's "Inventive" Acting Made Him the Perfect Chandler Bing, 'Friends' Director Says

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"His facial expressions were amazing ... [we] could always cut to his face."

<p>Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images</p>

Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

After Matthew Perry's celebrity friends and his co-stars shared their best memories of the actor after his shocking and unexpected death over the weekend, more industry luminaries are also coming forward with stories about what made the beloved Friends star so special. In an interview on the Today show, longtime TV director and producer James Burrows, who directed Friends's pilot episode, explained that Perry was an "inventive" actor that knew how to use his talents.

“We were reading around the table. Matthew had a certain way of turning a line," Burrows said of his first impression. "He was inventive with how he did a line."

Burrows added that Perry “was really funny” and a “little awkward” on set — a trait that made him perfect for the role of Chandler Bing. "It was a perfect, perfect meld," Burrows added.

The director also shared that his favorite Friends episode was "The One With the Blackout," which had Bing stuck alongside model Jill Goodacre in an ATM vestibule after a power outage. In a memorable scene, Chandler appeared to get increasingly desperate to explain to his friends exactly what was happening.

“His facial expressions were amazing and Matthew, [we] could always cut to his face,” Burrows said. “He was always aware that even though he wasn't speaking, he was always on camera.”

<p>David Bjerke/NBCU Photo Bank</p>

David Bjerke/NBCU Photo Bank

Related: Matthew Perry Has Died at Age 54: Report

“It’s so sad,” Burrows said of Perry's passing. “We were so proud of him these last couple of years that he was making a remarkable recovery.”

He noted that the cast is still close and that Perry's death was a huge blow to them and fans.

“I texted the girls the day we found out and they were destroyed,” Burrows said. “It’s a brother dying.” 

Of course, with his time on Friends and roles like his star turn in Fools Rush In, Burrows knows that Perry will be remembered “as a wonderful actor, a funny man and a dear friend to a lot of people.” He added, “I wish he was here.”

Perry died in Los Angeles on Oct. 28, 2023. Though an autopsy was performed on the actor, results have not been released yet and an official cause of death hasn't been confirmed, though TMZ initially reported that he drowned. The outlet noted that it could take "4-6 months" for the coroner to complete its investigation.

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