Matthew Perry says his 17 Again co-star Zac Efron turned down opportunity to play him again in new movie

Perry said he wrote the role for himself but realised he was ‘20 years too old’ to play it

Tom Murray
Friday 04 November 2022 18:54 GMT
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Zac Efron turned down the opportunity to play Matthew Perry again, the Friends actor revealed.

Efron and Perry co-starred in the 2009 movie 17 Again, in which the fictional 37-year-old Mike O'Donnell (Perry) is transformed back into his 17-year-old self (Efron) after expressing his regrets in life.

While promoting his new memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, on SiriusXM’s Pop Culture Spotlight With Jessica Shaw, Perry revealed that he is currently shopping around the screenplay for a rom-com he’s written.

Perry said that he wrote the lead role for himself only to realise that he was 20 years too old for the part.

Asked who his “dream younger version” of himself was by host 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.”

Matthew Perry (left) and Zac Efron

Efron’s career has undergone a notable shift in tone since High School Musical and comedies like 17 Again. Efron starred as serial killer Ted Bundy in 2019’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile and next plays wrestler Kevin Von Erich in The Iron Claw released by the industry’s edgiest film house, A24.

Perry makes a number of illuminating revelations in his memoir, including the reason why he broke up with the “brilliant and beautiful” Julia Roberts in 1996 and claimed that Cameron Diaz once (accidentally) punched him in the face.

Perry also said that he was rejected by Jennifer Aniston years before they began filming Friends.

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