(NEXSTAR) – Fans of the late Matthew Perry are finding solace in some of his most memorable performances, with many pointing to his comedic work on “Friends” as bringing them joy in the days after his death.
Perry, 54, had always remained proud of his role in the iconic sitcom. But when it comes to his entire body of work, the actor has — on multiple occasions — singled out one film as being his “best.”
Just a few seasons after “Friends” debuted, Perry appeared opposite Salma Hayek in the 1997 film “Fools Rush In.” The film starred Perry as Alex Whitman, a real-estate developer who falls for Hayek’s free-spirited photographer after a fling in Las Vegas. It wasn’t a universal hit with critics, but it’s the film Perry suggested he was most proud of.
“To this day, it’s probably my best movie,” Perry wrote in his 2022 memoir “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.”
In fact, Perry has not only suggested that “Fools Rush In” was his best movie, but that Whitman was his favorite performance. When responding to a fan on Instagram who asked whether Chandler Bing was Perry’s “most treasured role,” Perry had this to say:
“I did a movie that I love called Fools Rush In with @salmahayek that was probably my best movie,” he responded.
In his 2022 memoir, Perry expanded on his fondness for the film, but he admitted that shooting wasn’t always a walk in the park. He threw up from nerves on the first day, and on the second day, he almost had a breakdown while filming an emotional scene, he said.
“But I was starting to come up with some fun strategies to tap into real feelings and to be more of a leading man than a funny sitcom actor,” Perry wrote.
Perry also said Andy Tennant, the director, sat him down and told him to stop pressuring himself to be funny all the time, telling him, “You’re interesting enough to watch without doing that.”
“That line of thinking allowed him to pull out of me one of the best performances of my career,” Perry said.
Unfortunately, during a break in filming, Perry also suffered a jet-skiing accident on Lake Mead. He was prescribed painkillers to get him through the shoot, kicking off a long struggle with addiction. Perry added that this incident likely changed the trajectory of his acting career, though his later work on “Friends,” “The West Wing” and “The Ron Clark Story” have earned him multiple Emmy and SAG Award nominations, as well as one Golden Globe nod.
Plenty of fans still appreciate his performance in “Fools Rush In,” too.
“’Fools Rush In’ is one of the greatest, underrated romcoms ever,” one of those fans wrote on social media upon hearing news of Perry’s death. “RIP Matthew Perry.”