Matthew Perry has had a change of heart regarding his negative comments about Keanu Reeves.
The Friends star, 53, told the crowd at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Saturday that he will remove any mention of the John Wick actor from future editions of his revealing memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, which was released last year. In the book, which recounts Perry’s struggles with addiction and alcoholism, the actor questions why Reeves is still alive when other stars have died.
“I said a stupid thing. It was a mean thing to do,” Perry said at the festival, the Los Angeles Times reported. “I pulled his name because I live on the same street. I’ve apologized publicly to him. Any future versions of the book will not have his name in it.”
While he hasn’t apologized to Reeves in person, Perry told festival-goers that “if I run into the guy, I’ll apologize. It was just stupid.”
In his memoir, Perry made a jab at Reeves, 58, in a passage reflecting on the untimely deaths of actors like River Phoenix, who died of a drug overdose in 1993.
“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 co-star in A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, River Phoenix,” Perry wrote in the memoir, Variety reported at the time.
“It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down,” Perry continued. “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.”
Later, he mentioned Reeves a second time, when discussing the death of another former co-star, Chris Farley. Farley, with whom Perry starred in Almost Heroes, died of an accidental overdose in 1997.
Perry shared how he “punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston’s dressing room wall when I found out” about the comedian’s death, adding, “Keanu Reeves walks among us.”
After it became public knowledge that Perry shaded Reeves in the book, the Whole Nine Yards actor issued an apology.
In a statement to People, he shared “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.”
Despite his comments about Reeves, Perry went on to say at the Festival of Books event that he did his “best to not go after anybody in the book. That wasn’t the point.” Sharing that he has been in therapy since age 18, he said he “wanted to make sure that this wasn’t the kind of book where I blame people for the things they did wrong. You have to give them credit for the things they did right.”