Matthew Perry Wanted Zac Efron Play Him in Biopic Before Death – Hollywood Life

Matthew Perry Was Working on a Biopic Before His Death & Wanted This Co-Star to Play Him

The ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing’ author wanted this ’17 Again’ actor to portray him, according to the woman who saw Matthew the day before he died.

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Matthew Perry in a scene from '17 Again'
Image Credit: Offspring Ent/Kobal/Shutterstock

Matthew Perry was working on a biopic before his unexpected death, according to the woman who was last seen with him, Athenna Crosby. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Athenna, 25, claimed that the late 54-year-old actor and comedian wanted his 17 Again co-star, Zac Efron, to portray him in the film. 

“He said that he wanted to make a movie about his life,” Athenna told the outlet on November 1. “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.” 

Zac, 36, previously played the teenage version of Matthew’s character, Mike, in 2009’s 17 Again. 

Matthew Perry and Zac Efron behind the scenes of '17 Again'

The Friends alum’s October 28 death shocked the world, as he had been mapping out future projects for his career, Athenna claimed. “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,” she added in her interview. “So, he was so optimistic and happy about everything that he wanted to do.” 

Athenna was photographed having lunch with Matthew the day before he was found dead in his jacuzzi after what appeared to be an accidental drowning. The two were just friends, she insisted, and were simply catching up with each other during their outing. 

“He was doing great,” she pointed out. “He is a very funny person, as most people know him to be. 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. He was very optimistic about the future.” 

Prior to his untimely death – which was proven not to have been from a drug overdose — Matthew released his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, which explores his addiction journey, relationships and his career. In the book, Matthew pointed out that he was looking for different on-screen roles after his 10-year period with Friends ended and that he wanted to be remembered for more than just his comical role. 

“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,” Athenna acknowledged in her interview, before adding, “He was happy as a clam. So, that’s the person that I spoke to.”