EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Perry Says He's 'An Open Wound' By the End of His New Play

The 'Friends' star tells ET that it was important to create a character that is trying to improve his life.

Matthew Perry is giving his all to his new play, The End of Longing.

The Friends star's playwriting debut, which premiered at the West End in February 2016, is heading off-Broadway in May, where Perry is preparing to show fans in the U.S. his vulnerable side.

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"I've never done a play in New York before, so it's very, very exciting. We just started rehearsals yesterday, and the cast is great," the 47-year-old actor told ET's Jennifer Peros at a special meet-and-greet in New York City on Thursday. "So far, so good."

Perry plays Jack, a character loosely based off himself, in the production.

"I'm always drawn to characters that improve, that are geared to try to become better men in their lives, that start off in a somewhat broken place, and are trying to improve their lives, and that's what I've tried to do in my personal life," he explained. "I like stories that tell that story."

"There's a speech at the very end of this play, where this character is in a very vulnerable place, and gives a very emotional speech, and I actually wrote that speech in like, three minutes. It was sort of a stream of consciousness and it's probably the most moving part of the piece," Perry shared. "That's sort of an open wound out there for
audiences to see."

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"It's an exaggerated form of myself, but I am an open wound out there by the end of the play, that's for sure," he added.

Though The End of Longing certainly brings the drama, it was also important for Perry to include comedic moments in the play.

"I do believe that levity saves our lives, and this play definitely has both. It has dramatic themes and light moments, it's billed as sort of a dark, dark comedy," he said. "It's funny, when the play opened up in previews, I thought, 'Wow, I've just written a drama here,' but then it got a lot of laughs, so I was very relieved to see that it was funny as well."

The End of Longing
begins previews on May 18 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York.

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