You don’t need to read Matthew Perry’s memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, to know that it’s laden with bombshells. For starters: He broke up Julia Roberts, and swapped spit with Valerie Bertinelli while her then-husband—Eddie Van Halen—was passed out! But no revelation—not even the one where Friends co-star, Jennifer Aniston confronted him about his substance use disorder—has stuck out like Perry’s confession that throughout the ’90s and early 2000s, he was basically gunning for Keanu Reeves to kick the bucket.
Apparently, Perry has been feeling guilty about wishing the internet’s boyfriend dead because People reported on Wednesday night that he’s already apologized: “I’m actually a big fan of Keanu. I just chose a random name, my mistake. I apologize. I should have used my own name instead.” Someday, when I’m writing my memoir and inevitably recalling the dozen or so people (all of whom are objectively shitty, by the way) I’ve secretly hoped would develop a rare, fatal ailment, I’ll probably just opt for pseudonyms, but sure, a likely story, Mr. Bing.
In excerpts from Perry’s book published by Page Six earlier this week, the actor somehow managed to pay tribute to the deaths of fellow actor and longtime friend River Phoenix and famed comedian Chris Farley while simultaneously saying that it should’ve been Reeves.
“Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?” he wonders. “River was a beautiful man inside and out and too beautiful for this world, it turned out. It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down.”
OK, I’m old enough to remember Heath Ledger’s death, and sufficiently self-aware to admit that I, too, have had some questionable reactions in the throes of anguish that seriously rival Stacey Dash’s delayed response to DMX’s fatal heart attack. I get it. We have lost some real ones, and it’s fair to wonder why some less real ones are still here. Somehow though, Perry’s death wish for Reeves (of all people!) gets a little darker.
“I punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston’s dressing room wall when I found out,” he writes of his reaction to Farley’s death. “Keanu Reeves walks among us.” Punching holes in walls is practically a stage of grief for men, but that he immediately thought of Reeves? Again? Do we need a wellness check on Neo?
Thus far, Reeves has yet to address Perry’s admission or apology, but I like to imagine we’re in for something really deep and poetic, like, “We’re all stardust, baby!”
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