07/03/2013 11:07 am ET

Matthew Perry: 'Friends' Star Opens Up About His Struggle With Pills And Alcohol


Playing Chandler Bing on "Friends" for 10 years made Matthew Perry one of the most lovable guys on TV. And while he was cracking jokes and winning Monica's (Courteney Cox) heart,he was struggling with addiction.

In an interview with People magazine, the actor opened up about the difficulties that came along with being in the spotlight.

"I was on 'Friends' from age 24 to 34. I was in the white-hot flame of fame. The six of us were just everywhere all the time. From an outsider's perspective, it would seem like I had it all. It was actually a very lonely time for me because I was suffering from alcoholism," he said. "It was going on before 'Friends', but it's a progressive disease."

Perry went on to explain how his addiction got worse over the course of his time on the NBC sitcom, to the point where it became obvious to everyone around him.

"I was never high at work. I was painfully hungover. Then eventually things got so bad I couldn't hide it and everybody knew," he said.

Despite being in a much better place health-wise, Perry is the first to admit that "Friends" was the golden age of his career. Although he landed the starring role in NBC's "Go On," the series was canceled after only one season in May.

"It's just really, really completely, completely a different thing," Perry said of working on NBC today versus in the "Friends" era during a chat for The Hollywood Reporter's Emmy roundtable. "It's all changed so much. I had no expectation of ['Go On'] even being close ... It just feels night and day."