Matthew Perry recalls the 'dumb prayer' he said as a teenager

Matthew Perry shares his struggles in. a new ABC News special 'Matthew Perry: The Diane Sawyer Interview', 2022(Photo: YouTube/abcnews)

(CP) Actor Matthew Perry, famously known for his role as Chandler Bing in the hit NBC sitcom "Friends," recounted the first time he prayed to God and said that anything could be done to him so long as he became famous.

"That was the first time I ever prayed, and I look back at it as a dumb prayer, like a prayer of like a really young person," said Perry in an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer that aired Friday.

Perry, who first went public about his addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs in 2004, has released a memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. During his interview with Sawyer that highlighted pivotal moments in his life from childhood to stardom, he recounted the moment when, at 14 years old, he drank his first bottle of wine and felt euphoric.

After drinking with his friends, he writes in the book, "I lay in the grass and just was in Heaven. And I thought to myself, 'This must be the way that normal people feel all the time.'"

Perry says in his memoir that as a young teen, he got on his knees, closed his eyes and prayed: "God, you can do whatever you want to me, just please make me famous."

Soon after, he moved from Ottawa, Canada, to Los Angeles to live with his father.

By the time he was 18, Perry had developed a habit of drinking every day, yet thought that becoming a famous star in Hollywood would help cure his addiction. Sadly, the fame of being a celebrity just worsened his addiction.

Although he made a rule for himself that he would refrain from drinking while on the set of "Friends," he often showed up inebriated.

"I made a rule that I would never drink or take anything at work, but I would show up blindly hungover. Shaking and crazy hungover," he told Sawyer.

Jennifer Aniston, one of his co-stars, confronted him about his addiction because, she said, everyone could smell the alcohol on him, he recalled. His problem with addiction soon escalated after he started taking prescription painkillers following a jet skiing accident. After taking one pill, he felt euphoric again and was hooked. The actor said he'd hoped the prescription drugs would help him quit drinking, but over time he merely added one addiction on top of another and found himself taking as many as 55 Vicodin pills a day.

Now on the other side of his addiction, an excerpt from the end of Perry's book says, "A light has been shown as if to a desperate man who needs help, the same light that hits the ocean and the sunlight and the beautiful gold water glistening."

"People who don't believe in that, I'd like to tell them to go stop a wave or go make a plant," he told Sawyer. "It's not fun to talk about this stuff. I don't like talking about it, but I know it's going to help people to talk about it, I know the book is going to help people."

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