Zac Efron said that he would be “honored” to play Matthew Perry in a biopic about the Friends actor's life. Efron and Perry played the same character at different ages in the 2009 comedy 17 Again.
While walking the red carpet to promote his film The Iron Claw, Efron talked to People about Perry's wish to have him play Perry in a biopic. “I'm honored to hear he was thinking of me to play him,” Efron said. “We'll see. I'd be honored to do it.”
Efron expressed feeling “devastated” by Perry's sudden passing. “He was a mentor to me, and we made a really cool film together,” said Efron about 17 Again. “I looked up to him, I learned comedic timing from that guy. I mean, when we were filming 17 Again, it was so surreal for me to look across and have him be there, because I've learned so much from him, from his whole life.” 17 Again grossed over $139 million worldwide.
Matthew Perry Told Entertainment Reporter Athenna Crosby That He Wanted Zac Efron to Play Him in a Biopic
Entertainment reporter Athenna Crosby — a friend of Perry's who had lunch with him the day before he died — spoke with Entertainment Tonight shortly after his death. “He said that he wanted to make a movie about his life,” Crosby said to ET. “And he had worked with Zac Efron in the past on a movie, and he said that he wanted Zac Efron to play him as a younger version [of himself] and that he was gonna ask him soon to do that. He was just looking forward to sharing more about his story and his recovery from addiction, and really championing that cause to help more people, so he was so optimistic and happy about everything that he wanted to do.”
Variety published a Perry tribute from Thomas Lennon, who starred with Efron and Perry in 17 Again and with Perry on TV's The Odd Couple. “Matty had huge feelings and was not afraid to make you a part of those feelings,” said Lennon. “Matty was a cartoon mascot for anxiety wrapped in the packaging of a matinee idol. A comedy sword-swallower using real swords. The swords hurt. Matty was always trying to get better. Matty was ready to talk. Matty didn’t want to be alone. Matty wanted to make you laugh even if swallowing the swords hurt. Matty had a lot of pain. He wore it on his sleeve.”
Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.