Matthew Perry has credited his Friends co-star David Schwimmer with negotiating hefty salary increases for the cast of the show.
The sitcom was so popular that the main six stars – also including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc – were each making $1 million (£872,000) per episode by the eighth season and even more by the tenth and final series.
In his new memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, the actor revealed that Schwimmer helped everyone get a significant increase as a collective instead of asking for more on his own.
“David had certainly been in a position to go for the most money, and he didn’t. I would like to think that I would have made the same move, but as a greedy twenty-five-year-old, I’m not sure I would have,” Perry wrote. “But his decision served to make us take care of each other through what turned out to be a myriad of stressful network negotiations, and it gave us a tremendous amount of power.
“By season eight, we were making a million dollars per episode; by season 10 we were making even more. We were making $1,100,040 an episode, and we were asking to do fewer episodes. Morons, all of us. We had David’s goodness, and his astute business sense, to thank for what we had been offered. I owe you about $30 million, David. (We were still morons.)”
Despite ending in 2004, Friends has remained popular and re-runs are constantly shown on television. In a radio interview with Andy Cohen on Monday, Perry confirmed that his residual cheques from the programme are substantial.
“Well, yesterday I bought Iowa,” he quipped, to which Cohen asked if he could describe them as “bountiful”. The actor replied, “They’re not bad. They come as a text, in form of a text. ‘You just made this.’ And I go, ‘Oh, great.'”
– Cover Media