'Friends' star Matthew Perry says Bruce Willis ended up being a guest on the show because he lost a bet

‘Friends’ star Matthew Perry says Bruce Willis ended up being a guest on the show because he lost a bet

  • Matthew Perry has revealed how Bruce Willis ended up starring in ‘Friends’.
  • Perry said her “The Whole Nine Yards” co-star wasn’t sure the movie would be a hit, so they bet on it.
  • Willis lost the bet, so he appeared in season six as Paul Stevens.

Matthew Perry says Bruce Willis’ Emmy-winning role in ‘Friends’ happened because the ‘Die Hard’ star lost a bet to the sitcom actor.

In his new memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” released Tuesday, Perry recalls meeting Willis through their roles as Oz Oseransky and Jimmy Tudeski, respectively, in the 2000 comedy “The Whole Nine Yards. “.

Perry said they developed a friendship while working on the film, even though he was battling his alcohol and drug addiction at the time.

Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry at the premiere of

Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry in April 2004.

Lee Celano/WireImage

“There was a big difference between Bruce and me,” Perry said. “Bruce was a party animal; I was a drug addict. Bruce has an on-off button. He can party like crazy and then get a script like ‘The Sixth Sense’ and stop the party and nail the movie sober. He doesn’t have the gene – he’s not a drug addict.”

He continued, “Despite the party, we were all pros in this movie and managed to please the crowd.”

“Bruce wasn’t sure the movie would work at all, and I’d bet he would – if he lost, he had to do a guest spot on ‘Friends’.”

“The Whole Nine Yards” grossed $106 million worldwide and became the No. 1 movie in America for three straight weeks.

After Willis lost the bet, he starred in season six of “Friends” as Paul Stevens, the father of a college student Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) dated.

During the three episodes he appeared in, Paul also had a brief romance with Jennifer Aniston’s character, Rachel Green. Willis’ performance even earned the star an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.


Left to right: Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller and Bruce Willis as Paul Stevens in season six of “Friends.”

Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Perry and Willis reunited a few years later for a sequel to “The Whole Nine Yards,” which flopped at the box office.

“If ‘The Whole Nine Yards’ was the start of my movie stardom, it’s fair to say ‘The Whole Ten Yards’ was the end,” Perry said.

Regardless, Perry said he has fond memories of getting to know Willis beyond his off-camera movie star persona.

“Sometimes at the end of the night, when the sun was about to come up and everyone had left, and the party was over, Bruce and I would sit down and talk,” he said. . “That’s when I saw the real Bruce Willis – a kind-hearted, caring, selfless man. A wonderful parent. And a wonderful actor. And most importantly, a great guy.”

“And if he wanted me to be, I would be his friend for life,” Perry added. “But as is the case with so many of these things, our paths rarely crossed after that.”

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