Matthew Perry protected Monica and Chandler from cheating storyline on Friends

Matthew Perry refused to go ahead with a storyline that would have seen his character Chandler cheat on Monica (Courteney Cox), according to Friends guest star Lisa Cash.

Cash, who appeared as a flight attendant in episode 23 – “The One in Vegas: Part 1” – of the show’s fifth season, was originally supposed to portray a hotel worker who sleeps with Chandler after he has a fight with Monica over her ex-boyfriend Richard (Tom Selleck).

In an interview with TMZ following the sudden death of Perry aged 54, Cash discussed her experience as a guest star on the hit series, which aired from 1994 to 2004.

“The scene was Chandler and Monica were arguing in Vegas about having lunch with Richard. Initially in our script, Chandler goes up to the hotel room, orders room service and I bring it up [to him] as a hotel worker. We end up talking and laughing and connecting and Chandler ends up cheating on Monica with my character,” she explained.

“We had rehearsed it and everything,” Cash added. “The day before we were shooting in front of a live audience, I was told that Perry went to the writers and said the audience would never forgive [Chandler] for cheating on Monica.

“He was probably right! That would’ve changed possibly the course of the show and his character.”

Monica and Chandler, who ended up sleeping together in the season four finale, eventually went on to become the show’s most stable couple.

‘Friends’ cast (Warner Bros Television)
‘Friends’ cast (Warner Bros Television)

While Cash’s original scene was cut from the show, she was soon recast as the flight attendant who assists Monica’s brother Ross (David Schwimmer) and his on-again, off-again lover Rachel (Jennifer Aniston).

Working with Perry, Cash said she “felt so comfortable”. “He was so likable and welcoming and just made me feel at ease. I had so much fun. It was so much fun doing the scene with him and it was easy,” she said.

In an earlier tribute, John Stamos, who played Monica and Chandler’s potential sperm donor Zach, also remembered Perry’s unforgettable act of kindness on set.

“Standing backstage, ready to make my entrance, Matt whispers, ‘The audience is going go crazy when they see you! Get ready for some loud screams.’ I walk through the door … silence. I was so embarrassed,” Stamos recalled in an Instagram post dedicated to Perry.

“We finish the scene and as I start to slither back to my dressing room and quit showbiz, Matt walks over to the studio audience: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for John Stamos! You guys probably didn’t recognise him at first because [he’s] so much better looking in person!’” the Full House star continued.

“I never forgot that and the world will never forget you.”