Matthew Perry hoped Zac Efron would play him in a film about his life after their successful on-screen collaboration years earlier, a friend of the actor has said.
But according to a friend, Perry was not finished with ideas for future projects and wanted Efron to play him in a biopic, having starred alongside each other once before in the 2009 comedy 17 Again.
The film starred Perry as Mike, a middle-aged husband and father who found himself longing for his glory days back in high school. After an accidental encounter with a time vortex, Mike travels back 20 years and becomes a teenager once more (Efron) – now with the opportunity to make different life choices.
Entertainment reporter and model Athenna Crosby was a friend of Perry and shared some memories of him with People magazine on Thursday.
She explained he was keen to make a movie about his life and that he “wanted Zac Efron, who’s played him already to play him again because he said he did such a good job”.
Last year, Perry revealed that he’d previously approached the High School Musical star to take a role in a romcom he wrote. Though he initially wrote the part for himself, Perry realised the character was 20 years younger than him, and instead sent it to Efron, who declined.
When asked who his “dream younger version” of himself was by radio host Jessica Shaw, Perry replied: “Well, it was Zac Efron. But he said no. So, we’ve got to find someone who says yes.”
As for the female lead, Perry said that The White Lotus star Aubrey Plaza “almost did it.”
He added: “And that would have been perfect because I think she’s great. There’s some dramatic stuff in this too. She came very close, and it would have been perfect.”
Perry was passionate about writing and adding his own touch to the creative projects he was involved in.
He spent a significant amount of time in the Friends writers’ room and was the only main cast member to have contributed to the script. As well as this, he wrote the play The End of Longing, which debuted in London’s West End in 2016.
The dark comedy that Perry wrote “about four very broken people trying to find love” was the actor’s first foray into writing for the theatre.