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There Was No Reason for Matthew Perry To Come for Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves smiles while talking to media on the red carpet for The Matrix Resurrections

When it comes to actors you probably shouldn’t bad-mouth, Keanu Reeves is very high up on the list for a number of reasons. One being that he’s truly and honestly one of the good souls in Hollywood, but also because he’s been in this business for years and remains one of the best actors out there. So when Matthew Perry randomly decided to come at Reeves in his memoir for, seemingly, no reason, the outrage from it bubbled over onto social media.

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Perry wrote a memoir about his addiction, as well as his time on Friends and his career as a whole. But now, because of his random attack, the conversation is no longer about Perry’s own life and is instead all about him lamenting the death of “original thinkers” while Keanu is still around.

According to Yahoo Entertainment, the following was in Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing: “The list of geniuses who were ahead of their time is too long to detail here — suffice to say, near the top of any such list should be my costar in ‘A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon,’ River Phoenix,” Perry wrote.

Perry then went on to talk about River Phoenix and Heath Ledger as creative thinkers, randomly insulting Reeves in the process: “River was a beautiful man, inside and out — too beautiful for this world, it turned out. It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down. Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us? River was a better actor than me; I was funnier. But I certainly held my own in our scenes — no small feat, when I look back decades later.”

Perry, after the outrage, issued an apology to People saying, “I’m actually a big fan of Keanu. I just chose a random name, my mistake. I apologize. I should have used my own name instead.” But the thing is, he did this twice in the book. When he spoke about Chris Farley’s death, Perry wrote, “His disease had progressed faster than mine had. (Plus, I had a healthy fear of the word ‘heroin,’ a fear we did not share). I punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston’s dressing room wall when I found out. Keanu Reeves walks among us. I had to promote ‘Almost Heroes’ two weeks after he died; I found myself publicly discussing his death from drugs and alcohol. I was high the entire time.”

Keanu Reeves doesn’t deserve this

While Perry’s addiction is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly, this has now taken over the conversation, and I had to dig deep to find the actual name of his memoir because every news article is about him randomly wishing Keanu Reeves dead. And while no one deserves that, Reeves certainly doesn’t, and I personally do not think that Reeves’, friend and My Private Idaho co-star River Phoenix would like being a part of this conversation either.

Reeves has faced his fair share of loss and grief throughout the years, and part of this outrage is because many of us, myself included, feel the need to protect Reeves and celebrate him and his work. So this attack—because that’s what it is, despite what Perry said in his apology, because you don’t just randomly wish the same actor dead twice and not mean it—really and truly does not sit right with me.

(featured image: Sam Santos/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Pictures Canada)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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