Zac Efron says it would be “a great honor” to portray the late Matthew Perry.
Athenna Crosby, a close friend of the late Friends star, previously told “Entertainment Tonight” that Perry wanted to make a film about his life and hoped Efron would play him in a biopic.
Efron was asked about the comment at the Nov. 8 premiere of The Iron Claw and said he was up for the role.
“I heard that and it’s a great honor.” Efron told “ET.” “Matthew is, you know, the best guy in the world. I had the time of my life working with him.”
“To think he thought of me for this role,” he continued. “To be honest, it would be an honor.”
Efron played a younger version of Perry’s character in the 2009 comedy “17 Again.”
The story revolved around Mike O’Donnell, a former high school basketball star who gave up his dream of playing ball after his girlfriend became pregnant. One day he wakes up as his younger self and is able to relive his dreams and correct the mistakes he made in the past.
Perry died on October 28 at the age of 54, a representative for the actor and law enforcement confirmed to NBC News on the day of the death. The beloved actor was found lifeless in his hot tub at his Pacific Palisades home after an apparent drowning. Perry’s official The cause of death is still pending the coroner’s inquest.
Crosby, who told ET that he had dinner with the actor the day before his death, told the outlet that Perry wanted to reach out to Efron.
“He had worked with Zac Efron on a film in the past and he said that he wanted Zac Efron to play him as a younger version (of himself) and that he would ask him to do that soon,” Crosby said . “He was just excited to share more about his story and his recovery from addiction and really get involved in this cause to help more people. That’s why he was so optimistic and happy about whatever he wanted to do.”
While two law enforcement sources told NBC News that there were no obvious signs of trauma or crime surrounding Perry’s death, the actor has been vocal about his past struggles with drugs and addiction.
Perry had said that he didn’t watch any episodes of “Friends.” because he could recognize when he was struggling with drugs and alcohol.
His “Friends” co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer were in attendance, the magazine reported.
The cast had previously released a joint statement After his death, they said they were “completely devastated.”
“We are all deeply devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” the statement said. “There is so much to say, but for now we will take a moment to grieve and process this incredible loss.”
“Over time we will say more as we are able,” the statement continued. “Right now our thoughts and love are with Matty’s family, his friends and everyone who loved him around the world.”
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: