Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Zac Efron Would ‘Be Honored’ to Play Late Matthew Perry in Biopic

Zac Efron Would ‘Be Honored’ to Play Late Matthew Perry in Biopic

Zac Efron recently opened up about his 17 Again costar Matthew Perry following the comedy legend’s death last month. While walking the red carpet for the world premiere of his new film The Iron Claw in Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday evening, Efron expressed openness to portraying Perry in a future biopic. Perry, who passed away October 28th at age 54, had previously expressed his desire for Efron to play him.

“I’m honored to hear he was thinking of me to play him,” Efron told People at the event. “We’ll see. I’d be honored to do it.”

In 2009’s 17 Again, Efron portrays a younger version of Mike O’Donnell, played by Perry. The storyline revolves around 37-year-old Mike who finds himself filled with regrets about his life’s choices. However, his fortunes change when he unexpectedly falls into a time portal, transforming him into a teenager once again.

Efron fondly recalled filming the 2009 comedy 17 Again with the Friends star. “He was a mentor to me, and we made a really cool film together,” the Baywatch star said. “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.”

Zac Efron Isn’t the Only ’17 Again’ Cast Member Remembering Matthew Perry

In addition to Zac Efron, the cast of 17 Again featured actors Leslie Mann, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Thomas Lennon. Lennon starred alongside Perry in the 2015 reboot of The Odd Couple for TV, as well as a small role on Friends as Joey’s hand doppelganger.

“Matty had huge feelings and was not afraid to make you a part of those feelings. A comedy sword-swallower using real swords. The swords hurt,” wrote Lennon in a statement for Variety.

Lennon pointed out that Perry pushed to find the biggest laugh and always supported his costars. “Matty was always trying to get better,” Lennon added. “[He] was ready to talk. Matty didn’t want to be alone. Matty wanted to make you laugh even if swallowing the swords hurt.”

Perry was found dead at his residence in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 28, 2023. The sudden news of the Emmy-nominated actor’s untimely death has left fans and co-stars in a state of shock. In 2021, Perry joined his Friends cast for a special reunion on HBO Max. He also wrote a memoir called Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing last year, sharing his journey to stardom and battle with addiction candidly.