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Zac Efron Pays Tribute to His ’17 Again’ Co-Star Matthew Perry

Zac Efron is paying tribute to his former 17 Again co-star Matthew Perry.

During Efron’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony on Dec. 11, he praised Perry as being “so kind and generous,” adding that working with the late Friends star “was so much fun and really did propel me and motivate me in so many ways.”

Efron continued: “It really pushed me into the next chapter of my career. And for that, thank you so much, Matthew. Thinking about you a lot today.”

They appeared together in the 2009 comedy 17 Again, in which Efron plays the teenage version of Perry’s character, Mike O’Donnell.

Zac Efron at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.TOMMASO BODDI/AFP/Getty ImagesPerry Mentored Efron

According to the late actor’s friend and entertainment reporter, Athenna Crosby, Perry had wanted Efron to play him in a biopic before his death at the age of 54 on Oct. 28.

“He wanted Zac Efron, who’s played him already to play him again because he said he did such a good job,” Crosby revealed to People.

Efron later responded to the reports, revealing at The Iron Claw movie premiere that he was “honored to hear” Perry was considering him for a role.

“We’ll see. I’d be honored to do it,” Efron said, adding that he is “devastated” by his former co-star’s death.

Offspring Ent/Kobal/Shutterstock

“He was a mentor to me, and we made a really cool film together,” he continued. “I looked up to him, I learned comedic timing from that guy. 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.”

Perry Wanted Efron For A Rom-Com

While promoting his 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry stopped by SiriusXM’s Pop Culture Spotlight with Jessica Shaw where he revealed that he was working on a romantic comedy and again wanted Efron to play the lead.

“I finished a screenplay that we’re out with to some people. I want to direct that,” he said at the time. “I have a small part in it. I wrote it for myself and then realized I’m 20 years too old to play this. So we’re trying to cast the leads now.”

However, Perry disclosed that Efron had turned the rom-com down. “He said no, so we’ve got to find someone who says yes,” he added.

Perry’s 17 Again Co-Star Paid Tribute

Meanwhile, another of Perry’s 17 Again co-stars, Thomas Lennon, who played Ned Gold in the 2009 comedy, shared a tribute to Variety following the actor’s death.

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In the statement, Lennon described Perry as “a cartoon mascot for anxiety wrapped in the packaging of a matinee idol. Canadian tennis pro. Heartthrob with a racing heart. Playwright. Accidental superstar.”

This article was originally published on November 3, 2023

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