Elizabeth Hurley reacts to Matthew Perry's book, 'Serving Sara' shutdown: 'It was tough'
Matthew Perry was "nervous" about how his buzzy new book would be received, especially given all the celebrities he talks about, but there's one person mentioned that holds no ill-will towards the actor: Elizabeth Hurley. While promoting her new film Christmas in Paradise, Hurley tells Yahoo Entertainment she's seen parts of what her former co-star has to say.
Hurley played Perry's love interest in 2002's romantic comedy Serving Sara, most of which was filmed as Perry fought addiction to alcohol and drugs. Production was abruptly shut down so Perry, 53, could go to rehab, which he addresses in the memoir. While the 57-year-old actress admits it was a "nightmare" working with Perry before he got help, she calls him a "lovely person."
"I haven't actually ready the book yet, but I've read [excerpts] of it. It's quite interesting," Hurley shares. "He's a very funny writer like he's a very funny man. He's an incredibly gifted comedian... his way with words is fantastic."
Hurley continues, "I have very fond memories of him. To be honest, it was a nightmare working with him at that time and, as it's now known, our movie was shut down because of his addiction. We were in a force majeure and had to all sit at home twiddling our thumbs for some time."
In Perry's book Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, he writes that Hurley and director Reginald Hudlin were "pissed off" over the shutdown — and rightfully so.
"That was a little tough, but he came back and he was fabulous," Hurley recalls.
When Perry, who spent more than two months at a private rehab center, returned to set, Hurley remembers the Friends alum "had to revoice everything that we shot before." (Perry recently said the same, but confessed it was because his speech was slurred in scenes shot before rehab.)
"It was tough, obviously he was having a tough time, but he was still very charming and a lovely person to work with," she recalls, "but you could see he was suffering for sure."
Perry was shooting Friends in conjunction with Serving Sara. The actor told ABC News's Diane Sawyer he was consuming Xanax, Methadone and a quart of vodka each day during that period.
"It was shot in Dallas and I was doing Friends at the same time, so it doubled my workload. And I was flying on a private jet drinking vodka out of a water bottle," he said.
"I weighed 155 pounds, on my way to 128 pounds. I feel too sorry for that guy, he's going through too much, and it's me. And I remember that, and I didn't understand what was going on," Perry added. "But again, I'm sorry, and I'm so grateful to not be that anymore."
Perry estimates he's spent $9 million on efforts to get sober, been to 6,000 Alcohol Anonymous meetings, went to rehab at least 15 times and has spent half of his life in treatment or sober-living homes. The efforts have paid off as he's more than 18 months sober.
MORE: Matthew Perry shares addiction story in new memoir: "I'm grateful to be alive"