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Matthew Perry wanted to make a biopic; Zac Efron says he'd 'be honored' to play the late actor

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Nov 09, 2023 11:41 am Updated Nov 09, 2023 1:40 pm

Matthew Perry's untimely passing stopped the 54-year-old's dream of an eventful future, which included producing a film about his life that would inspire people.

Perry's friend Athena Crosby revealed the star's plan to create a biopic in an interview with Entertainment Tonight (ET) earlier this month. The entertainment reporter recalled, "He said that he wanted to make a movie about his life."

"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," she continued.

The 25-year-old model said that Perry hoped the film would spark hope among people who, like him, were addicted to drugs and alcohol.

According to The New York Post, the 54-year-old actor's addiction began at the age of 18, four years after his first drink at 14. In February 2001, Matthew entered rehab for his addiction to alcohol as well as to Vicodin, methadone, and amphetamines.

The actor wrote in his memoir, published in November 2022, that he went to rehab 15 times and has been in detox 65 times. He also estimated spending around $9 million (P512 million) to treat his addiction.

"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," Crosby told ET.

The entertainment reporter began making rounds online after TMZ on Oct. 31 released photos of her and the Friends star having lunch together on Oct. 27 around 2:30 p.m. (Eastern time) in Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles. Perry died the following afternoon at his LA home due to apparent drowning. There was no foul play or drugs at the scene, according to law enforcement.

Meanwhile, fellow actor Efron exclusively told People Magazine that he would be honored to play the late actor in a future biopic.

"I'm honored to hear he was thinking of me to play him," Efron tells the outlet during the premiere of his film The Iron Claw on Nov. 8 in Texas. "We'll see. I'd be honored to do it," he added.

The 36-year-old actor said that he was "devastated" by Perry's untimely passing and recalled how the Friends star became his mentor while filming the 2009 movie 17 Again.

"He was a mentor to me, and we made a really cool film together," he told the outlet. "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."

Offspring Entertainment/Kobal/Shutterstock

In the film, Perry plays Mike O'Donnell, a 37-year-old man who's struggling through a dead-end job and trying hard for his two kids to love him all while attending to the divorce filed by his wife. Things begin to change when O'Donnell mysteriously returns to his 17-year-old self (played by Efron) and is given the chance to redo his life or rather see the bright side of it.

Apart from 17 again, Perry has starred in films like The Whole Nine Yards (2000), Three to Tango (1999), and Fools Rush In (1997). He is best known for playing Chandler in the '90s sitcom Friends throughout its 10-season run.