Before his sudden death, Matthew Perry was looking forward to working on a biopic about his life — and he had the perfect actor in mind to play the younger version of himself.
Athenna Crosby, one of Perry’s friends and the woman photographed by TMZ having lunch with Perry the day before his passing, told Entertainment Tonight on Nov. 1 that the Friends actor wanted his former co-star Zac Efron to have a role in the film.
“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,” Crosby told the entertainment site.
She continued, “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.”
Perry and Efron co-starred in 2009’s 17 Again, where Perry took on the role of the 37-year-old Mike O’Donnell in the present day, while Efron portrayed his 17-year-old version. Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon and Michelle Trachtenberg also appeared in the romance/comedy.
Perry was found unresponsive in his hot tub at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, Oct. 28. Since his death, tributes have been pouring in from Hollywood stars who shared their condolences and memories with Perry on social media. His Friends cast-mates expressed their sadness about the loss of their dear friend in a joint statement to People on Monday.
“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer said in the statement. “There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.”
From 1994 to 2004, Perry played the role of Chandler Bing on the acclaimed sitcom Friends, which follows a tight-knit group of six friends living in Manhattan. The gang reunited in 2021 for Friends: The Reunion special on Max.
Crosby added that during her last outing with the late actor, Perry was “optimistic about the future.”
“He was doing great. He is a very funny person, as most people know him to be,” Crosby said. “He’s goofy, he’s silly. He was cracking jokes the whole time. He was speaking to me about some of the upcoming projects that he wanted to work on.”
She added, “He was talking about how there’s been a public resurgence of interest in him lately and how he was hoping to utilize that to have a second act in his career. He was happy as a clam. So, that’s the person that I spoke to.”