Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts
In the 1990s, Friends was one of the most popular sitcoms on television, catapulting its young cast into stardom. One of those stars was Matthew Perry, who played the sarcastic and unlucky-in-love Chandler Bing. During Friend’s early seasons, Matthew Perry briefly dated another very famous Julia – none other than Julia Roberts herself. Their romance was short-lived but created quite a media frenzy at the time.
How They Met
In 1995, at the height of Friends’ popularity, Matthew Perry made an appearance on Saturday Night Live while Roberts was hosting. According to later interviews, Matthew Perry had a crush on Roberts and made sure to get her phone number from the SNL producers. While Julia Roberts was intrigued, she didn’t think Perry would call. But he did, leaving a funny and self-deprecating message on her answering machine. Amused and charmed, Roberts agreed to go on a date.
Date Seen Around the World
For their first date, Perry took Julia Roberts to a quiet restaurant in Manhattan. However, word quickly leaked out and soon paparazzi and fans descended, desperate to catch a glimpse of the unlikely couple. Unfazed, Perry and Roberts strolled through Central Park together after dinner, posing for pictures and even sharing a few kisses. The public interest intensified greatly after that, with their romance making headlines worldwide.
Opening Up On Relationships
While Perry has opened up about his past struggles with addiction, he rarely discusses former relationships. But over the years, occasional details have slipped out about his fling with Julia Roberts. In a 2015 interview with People Magazine, Matthew Perry admitted his disbelief that she agreed to go out with him. “I was just hoping she would respond to me. I couldn’t believe she knew who I was,” he said.
Julia Roberts has also commented on their brief time together. In a 2003 interview with Oprah Winfrey, the actress reminisced about dating another celebrity in the 1990s for “two wonderful months” before breaking up over media pressure. Though she didn’t name Perry outright, most fans assume she was referring to him. Roberts also implied she initiated the split, unexpectedly ending things after the constant scrutiny became too difficult.
Could It Have Lasted?
So why didn’t Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts’ romance go the distance? Some point to their very different upbringings and backgrounds as an obstacle. With Roberts being significantly more famous and successful than Perry at the time, the power imbalance likely took a toll too. Of course, the intense public interest probably accelerated issues as well. Neither were accustomed to such invasions of privacy.
Still, many fans over the years have wondered “What if?” Even decades later, some nostalgic for the 1990s still reminisce about the dazzling couple. Perhaps if social media didn’t exist then like today, they would have stood a chance. It’s also possible other factors like Matthew Perry substance abuse played a role out of the spotlight. Regardless, that brief modern fairy tale captivated millions and still lives on for many as an iconic cultural moment.
Where They Are Now
While no longer an item themselves, both Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts found love afterward elsewhere. Roberts married cameraman Daniel Moders in 2002. Now 54, the renowned actress scaled back her once prolific career over the past decade to spend more time with her three children. Danny Moder and one of their twins even made cameo appearances recently on Julia Roberts’ popular Instagram.
In 2021, Perry very publicly became engaged to literary manager Molly Hurwitz, though they ended the relationship in 2022. Now 53, the actor made a return to the spotlight in 2021 for the highly anticipated Friends reunion special. He also recently released a memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, opening up on his struggles with addiction. Currently, Perry appears healthy, enjoying sobriety, and continuing his acting work.
Though the heat of 1990s tabloid culture has dimmed, public obsession with celebrity romances persists. And Matthew Perry and Julia Roberts’ unlikely relationship remains fixed in pop culture history – forever an iconic, nostalgic artifact of a different era. Almost thirty years later, that magical few months still delights fans. For a brief shining moment, they embodied the classic Hollywood dream. And isn’t that exactly what we sometimes need entertainment to do?