Matthew Perry's Longtime Connection With Justin Trudeau Explained

Matthew Perry had a long list of famous pals besides just his "Friends" castmates. The actor even had a longtime connection with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Although he played a New Yorker on the hit NBC sitcom, Perry grew up in Canada. John Bennett Perry and Suzanne Perry gave birth to Matthew in Massachusett, per Narcity. However, after the couple split, John moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career, and Suzanne took the "17 Again" actor to Ottawa, Canada. Matthew spent several formative years in the country and considered himself part-Canadian. He detailed his time in Canada in his 2022 memoir, "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," describing himself as "the pale Canadian kid with a quick mouth" who could "name the entire roster of the Toronto Maple Leafs," per City News Everywhere.

During his time in Canada, Matthew was able to see a lot of the country because his mom was a journalist and press secretary. He traveled from Ottawa to Montreal to Toronto and got a little taste of everything that the country had to offer. At 15, Matthew moved to Los Angeles to be with his father, but he would never forget the time he spent in Canada and the people he met, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Matthew Perry went to school with Justin Trudeau

Matthew Perry and Justin Trudeau go way back. Not only was the actor's mom the press secretary to Justin's dad and then-prime minister, Pierre Trudeau, but they also went to school together. Perry was in the fifth grade, and Justin was a couple years younger. Although the two attended school together, we wouldn't necessarily say they were friends.

While being interviewed on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Perry talked about his connection to the prime minister and shared a story that he's not too proud of. He explained, "We actually beat up Justin Trudeau. We both beat him up. I think he was excelling in a sport, it was pure jealousy and we beat him up." Perry revealed that they didn't beat up Justin because he was the prime minister's son, but because "he was the only kid in school we could beat up." Perry admitted it wasn't something to brag about, but he does feel it was "instrumental" in him becoming prime minister.

A couple of weeks after his interview, Justin responded via X, formerly known as Twitter. He joked, "I've been giving it some thought, and you know what, who hasn't wanted to punch Chandler? How about a rematch @MatthewPerry?" Although the prime minister was joking, Perry wasn't ready for a showdown, especially because of his title. He responded, "I think I will pass at your request for a rematch kind sir (given that you currently have an army at your disposal)."

Justin Trudeau shared touching words after Matthew Perry's passing

Matthew Perry and Justin Trudeau may have only had a brief connection in elementary school, but the memory stuck with the prime minister.

In October 2023, Perry's life was cut short after he was found unresponsive due to an apparent drowning, per TMZ. The actor was only 54 years old when the outlet announced that his assistant found him in the jacuzzi of his home after coming back from running an errand. Perry's sudden passing was a complete shock to many. Although the cause of death has yet to be revealed, many tributes have poured in from friends, family, and fans of the late actor. After hearing the news of Perry's passing, Prime Minister Trudeau also sent well wishes to the late actor and reminisced on their time together.

In a tweet shared online, Trudeau wrote, "Matthew Perry's passing is shocking and saddening. I'll never forget the schoolyard games we used to play, and I know people around the world are never going to forget the joy he brought them." Even though the two only shared time together when they were younger, it clearly meant a lot to the prime minister. He ended his tweet with parting words to Perry, sharing, "Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved — and you will be missed."