Perry’s friend Athenna Crosby tells PEOPLE the 'Friends' star was looking to create "a movie about his life" starring his former 17 Again castmate
Entertainment reporter Athenna Crosby, who was photographed dining with Perry at the Hotel Bel-Air one day before his death, tells PEOPLE the Friends star “wanted to make a movie about his life and have a biopic made.”
The model and actress adds that Perry “wanted Zac Efron, who's played him already to play him again because he said he did such a good job.”
Perry and Efron starred together in the 2009 comedy 17 Again. In the film, Perry plays Mike O’Donnell, a down-on-his-luck middle-aged father with a dead-end job, two kids who hate him and a wife who has just filed for divorce. But magic strikes O’Donnell during a moment of desperation, turning him back into his 17-year-old self (played by Efron). He’s given the chance to redo his entire life, but it turns out that maybe he just needs to appreciate what he has.
A Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson later told PEOPLE on Saturday that officers responded to a call at Matthew's address regarding the death of a male in his 50s, though authorities would not confirm the deceased's identity.
The actor's family released a statement to PEOPLE on Sunday, saying, "We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother. Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend. You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love."
"We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family," the statement read. "There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss."
It continued, "In time we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world."
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Perry and Efron’s 17 Again costar Thomas Lennon also paid tribute in a lengthy statement to Variety, remembering him 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.”
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