On Monday, Efron, 36, appeared in Los Angeles as The Hollywood Walk of Fame presented him with the star in recognition of his career. During the ceremony, Efron made note to his former costar Perry, who passed in October at 54, and shared “so kind and generous with me” during filming on 2009’s 17 Again.
“Collaborating with him and [director Burr Steers] — it was so much fun and really did propel me and motivate me in so many ways,” Efron recalled. “It really pushed me into the next chapter of my career, and for that, thank you so much, Matthew. Thinking about you a lot today.”
Efron’s The Iron Claw costar Jeremy Allen White and director Sean Durkin spoke on behalf of Efron himself while accepting the honor. Even Miles Teller spoke up on the High School Musical alum.
“For our generation, Zac was and is the first true superstar to come out of our class,” Teller, 36, said, as he reflected on first meeting Efron when they filmed their 2014 movie That Awkward Moment.
As of late, Efron told PEOPLE at the premiere for The Iron Claw he would potentially be open to playing his late 17 Again costar Matthew Perry for a future biopic. Before passing, the actor, who passed at 54, expressed that he would love for Efron to play him in a movie about his life.
“I’m honored to hear he was thinking of me to play him,” Efron told PEOPLE at the time. “We’ll see. I’d be honored to do it.”
17 Again follows a man who is magically granted the opportunity to return to his life at 17 years old and rewrite the past. Efron portrayed the young version of Perry’s character in the comedy, which made for his first film since the High School Musical trilogy wrapping in 2008.
“He was a mentor to me, and we made a really cool film together,” he added of Perry to PEOPLE. “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.”
In June, The Hollywood Walk of Fame announced that Kevin Fiege, Gal Gadot, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Chris Meledandri, Chris Pine, Christina Ricci, Michelle Yeoh and Chadwick Boseman will receive stars on the Walk of Fame next year for their contributions to film.
The latest from Efron, The Iron Claw, releases in theaters December 22nd.