Matthew Perry got Julia Roberts on ‘Friends’ by writing physics paper
I’m in an exchange for the woman for whom lipstick was invented. Now I have to hit all the books. “
In an excerpt from his upcoming memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, the sitcom’s star revealed that he wrote the Pretty Woman actress an entire paper on quantum physics to persuade her to sign on for a spotlight appearance in 1996’s season 2 episode “The One After the Superbowl, Part 2.”
“Julia had been offered the post-Super Bowl episode in season 2 and she would only do the show if she could be in my story line,” Perry wrote, per an excerpt from the U.K.’s The Times. “Let’s say it again, she would only do this show if she could join my story line. (Was it a good year? First, I had to win her over. “
304422 21: Actor Matthew Perry and actress Julia Roberts hug each other on the set of “Friends.” (Photo by Liaison)
Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts on the set of ‘Friends’
| Credit: Liaison
Inspired by Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman, Perry attempted to charm Roberts by sending over “three dozen roses” and a note that read, “The only thing more exciting than the prospect of you doing the show is that I finally have an excuse to send you flowers. “
Roberts didn’t respond to this request. Perry recalled that her reply was that she would agree to be on the show if I explained quantum physics to it. “Wow. First, I’m in an exchanging with the woman for which lipstick was invented. Now I have to go to the books. He jumped in to the world of quantum mechanics and was pleasantly rewarded for his efforts. The next day, I sent her an article about wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, and entanglement. Only some of it was metaphorical,” wrote he. Julia agreed to do the show and also sent me bagels – lots and lots of bagels. Yes, why not? Julia was f—ing Roberts. ” The pair formed a quick friendship via fax (! That quickly turned into something more. He recounted, “I did let her into my life, both literally and metaphorically, and a relationship started.” “We would already be a couple by the time we started filming the Friends Super Bowl episode. ” In this hilarious episode, Roberts plays Chandler’s childhood classmate, Susie Moss. They reunite and start seeing each other, but Susie’s true intentions are revealed when she steals Chandler’s clothes to pay back for embarrassing her in fourth grade.
The show’s executive producer, Kevin Bright, recalled the scientific paper and back-and-forth faxes between Roberts and Perry in a 2021 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“Matthew contacted her to ask if she would be interested in being on the show. He asked her to write back, “Write me a paper about quantum physics, and I’ll do that,” he replied. “My understanding is that Matthew went off and wrote a paper, which he faxed to her the next morning.
Staff writer Alexa Junge also fondly remembered the notes. “There was a lot more flirting than faxing. She was filling out questionnaires such as, “Why should I go out to dinner with you?” She said. “And everyone in that writers’ room helped him to explain why. He could have done it without us, but there was no doubt that we were there to help him. “
But Perry wrote in the book that he ended their relationship two months into their relationship because of his insecurities.
“Dating Julia Roberts had been too much for me,” he wrote, per the Times. “I was certain that she would end up with me. Why would she? I was not enough. I could never be enough. I was broken, bent and unloveable. Instead of facing the inevitable pain of losing her, we broke up with Julia Roberts, the beautiful and brilliant. She might have thought she was slacking with a TV man, but the TV guy was now splitting up with her. The look of confusion on her faces is something I cannot describe. “
Representatives of Roberts did not immediately reply to EW’s request to comment.
Perry’s memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, hits shelves Nov. 1.
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