Zac Efron thanks ‘generous’ Matthew Perry for pushing him ‘into the next chapter’ of his career



Zac Efron paid a touching tribute to his late “17 Again” co-star Matthew Perry, saying the late actor was a catalyst in pushing him “into the next chapter” of his career.

At his Hollywood Walk of Fame unveiling ceremony Monday, Efron paid his respects to the late “Friends” actor, who died on Oct. 28 following an apparent drowning.

“I really also want to mention someone that is not here today, and that’s Matthew Perry, who was so kind and generous with me when we worked on ’17 Again,’” the “High School Musical” alum said.

“Collaborating with him and [director Burr Steers] — it was so much fun and it really did propel me and motivate me in so many ways. It really pushed me into the next chapter of my career, for that, thank you so much Matthew.”

“Thinking about you a lot today,” Efron, 36, added.

In the 2009 film, Efron plays the younger version of Perry’s character, Mike O’Donnell. ©New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

In the 2009 film, Efron plays the younger version of Perry’s character, Mike O’Donnell.

After news of Perry’s death came to light, Efron said he “would be honored” to play Perry on the big screen after learning that the late actor expressed his desire to have Efron portray him in a biopic of his life.

The late “Friends” actor died on Oct. 28 following an apparent drowning. Rich Fury/Invision/AP

“I’m honored to hear he was thinking of me to play him,” the “Greatest Showman” star told People.

“We’ll see. I’d be honored to do it,” he said, adding, “He was a mentor to me, and we made a really cool film together.”


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“I looked up to him, I learned comedic timing from that guy. I mean, 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, from his whole life,” Efron added.

Perry was found dead in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home on Oct. 28.

Efron received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday. Getty Images

The beloved actor was laid to rest in a private section at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, Calif., on Nov. 3.

His funeral was attended by his family, as well as his “Friends” co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Lisa Kudrow.



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