Jennifer Aniston has given her first interview since Friends costar Matthew Perry‘s death and revealed she spoke to him on the day he died, describing how he was in great spirits and good health.

“He was happy. He was healthy. He had quit smoking. He was getting in shape. He was happy — that’s all I know,” Jennifer, 54, tearfully told Variety on Monday, December 11, adding, “I was literally texting with him that morning, funny Matty. He was not in pain. He wasn’t struggling. He was happy.”

“I want people to know he was really healthy and getting healthy. He was on a pursuit. He worked so hard. He really was dealt a tough one. I miss him dearly. We all do. Boy, he made us laugh really hard,” she continued.

Matthew died on October 28 at the age of 54 after being found unresponsive in the hot tub of his Pacific Palisades, California, home by his assistant. Earlier in the day he had played pickleball with a friend, who said he went home early after feeling fatigued.

This is the first time a cast member from Friends has given an interview since Matthew’s death, although Jennifer, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer all shared moving Instagram tributes.

Jen shared her heartfelt post on November 15, which has since racked up 17 million likes. She wrote, “Oh boy this one has cut deep … Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I’ve never experienced before. We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Loss of life or loss of love. Being able to really SIT in this grief allows you to feel the moments of joy and gratitude for having loved someone that deep. And we loved him deeply.”

“In the last couple weeks, I’ve been poring over our texts to one another. Laughing and crying then laughing again. I’ll keep them forever and ever” she continued, adding, “Matty, I love you so much and I know you are now completely at peace and out of any pain. I talk to you every day … sometimes I can almost hear you saying ‘could you BE any crazier?'” concluding, ​”Rest little brother. You always made my day.”

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on Matthew the day after his death but the cause of death has been listed as “deferred” as toxicology and other tests results are performed.

Matthew had been open about his struggles with addiction over the years, laying bare his substance abuse issues in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.

His alcohol addiction kicked in when he was cast on the NBC sitcom at the age of 24, before moving on to opioids including Vicodin.

“I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble,” the actor wrote. “But there were years that I was sober during that time. Season 9 was the year that I was sober the whole way through. And guess which season I got nominated for best actor? I was like, ‘That should tell me something.’”

“You can track the trajectory for my addiction if you gauge my weight from season to season,” Matthew described in one passage, describing, “When I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I’m skinny, it’s pills. When I have a goatee, it’s lots of pills.”

Matthew credited his Friends costars for being “understanding” and “patient,” adding, “It’s like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That’s kind of what the cast did for me.”

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