‘Thinking about you’: Zac Efron thanks Matthew Perry in Walk of Fame speech – National

Zac Efron spoke highly of Matthew Perry during his Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony, and said the late actor motivated him to reach new heights early on in his career.

Efron, 36, was awarded a coveted Walk of Fame star in Los Angeles on Monday. During a ceremony honouring his career achievements, Efron said he had a special thanks for “someone that’s not here today.”

Perry, who starred alongside Efron in the 2009 comedy 17 Again, was found dead in his Pacific Palisades home in October.

Efron said the 54-year-old Friends actor was “so kind and generous with me” while they worked together on 17 Again. He said collaborating with Perry and Burr Steers, who directed the film, gave him the motivation to launch the “next chapter” of his career.

“For that, thank you so much, Matthew,” Efron said while looking to toward the sky. “Thinking about you a lot today.”

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Before his death, Perry said he’d like Efron to play him in a biopic about his life. In November, Efron said he would be “honoured” to play the part.

Before 17 Again, Efron reached international fame for his portrayal of teen heartthrob Troy Bolton in the High School Musical trilogy, a project he also paid respect to on Monday. Efron gave thanks to both High School Musical director Kenny Ortega and producer Bill Borden, who were present at the ceremony.

“You guys were both instrumental in giving me my start in High School Musical,” he said as the crowd cheered. “For that, I’m eternally, eternally grateful. I still think about it every day. I sing the songs in the shower.”

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When a fan from the crowd shouted, “Me too!” in response to Efron’s shower admission, the star repeated Troy Bolton’s iconic line: “Go Wildcats!”

As expected, the crowd of Efron’s fans at the event erupted in cheers.

Actor Miles Teller, who filmed the 2014 comedy That Awkward Moment with Efron, also spoke at the ceremony, and pointed to Efron’s position in the pop culture zeitgeist.

“For our generation, Zac was and is the first true superstar to come out of our class,” the Top Gun: Maverick star said.

Efron’s Walk of Fame unveiling was more than just a trip down memory lane. The actor was also praised by co-star Jeremy Allen White and director Sean Durkin, whom he collaborated with for the upcoming film The Iron Claw. The biographical sports drama follows the story of the Von Erich wrestling family and the mythical “Von Erich curse” that plagued the family with tragedy.

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White called Efron a true movie star and described his career as “prolific.”

“He chases challenges, he chases change, he’s also devastatingly handsome, he’s kind and he’s endlessly hardworking,” White gushed.

“To me, I think he’s selfless. He’s egoless,” White continued. “It’s as if Zac Efron doesn’t know he is, in fact, a movie star. So, we’re all here to remind him, and put a big star in the ground with his name on it, so Zac will never forget.”

Efron is the 2,767th person to be given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, according to a press release.

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Efron said to have a Walk of Fame star is a “dream come true.”

“I’ve been acting and singing and dancing for as long as I can remember, since I was a little boy, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be standing here today in front of such dear friends, colleagues throughout the years and lifelong fans who have been with me since day one,” Efron said.

The A24 film The Iron Claw will be released in theatres on Dec. 22, 2023.

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