For someone who is famous for being in Friends, Matthew Perry sure seems to have a knack for making enemies. In November, the actor who played Chandler Bing released an addiction memoir called Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, which generated a lot of headlines for all the wrong reasons. Namely, Perry was rude about Keanu Reeves, who is frequently described as the “nicest guy in Hollywood” and “the internet’s boyfriend” because of his reputation for quietly doing good deeds, dating an age-appropriate woman, and generally giving the impression that he is a thoroughly decent man.
What is Perry’s problem with Reeves? The fact he is still alive when other stars have died, basically. “Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?” Perry asks in his memoir. Later in the book, he recounts hearing about the 1997 death of his friend Chris Farley: “I punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston’s dressing room wall,” he recalls, adding: “Keanu Reeves walks among us.” (Yes, he is very fond of that phrase.)
All this did not go down particularly well. On Saturday, Perry told an audience at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books that he will remove any mention of Reeves from future editions of his memoir and admitted that namechecking Reeves, who lives on the same street as him, had been “mean”. In October he told Deadline that he was a “big fan of Keanu” and just “chose a random name”. Sorry, but I don’t buy that. They are neighbours: obviously, there is some history there. Did Keanu put the bins out when it wasn’t bin day? Did he play his music too loud? Inquiring minds want to know.
While Perry’s apology to Reeves wasn’t exactly an A+ example of contrition, it wasn’t the worst celebrity apology ever. That award probably goes to the celebrity chef Mario Batali, who once used his email newsletter to apologise for “past behavior” (read: accusations of sexual misconduct) and then, at the end of the apology, shared a recipe for pizza dough cinnamon rolls. Some extremely tone-deaf celebs walk among us.