Why were Matthew Perry's last 7 Instagram posts about Batman?

Why were Matthew Perry's last 7 Instagram posts about Batman?
Matthew Perry's advice in last interview before his death: 'People do change'
Matthew Perry/Flatiron Books

Comic genius often comes with a dark side, as Matthew Perry knew all too well.

The Friends star, who died on Saturday, aged 54, battled against addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol for decades.

And yet, he was known as a funny man – whose biting wit and mastery of sarcasm made him an icon in the eyes of millions.

These two distinct, yet intrinsically linked, sides of his character no doubt helped him empathise with another legend of the big and silver screens: Batman.

Indeed, Perry’s last Instagram post, shared just five days before his death referenced the comic book character – with the 54-year-old dubbing himself “Mattman”.

Mourning fans were also quick to point out that the accompanying photo of Matty (as his friends called him) showed him relaxing in his outdoor hot tub at home in LA.

On 28 October, that same jacuzzi would become the scene of his death, according to local police sources.

But this final post wasn’t the only indicator of the 17 Again actor’s fixation with Batman – his previous six were all allusions to the caped crusader.

The first of the series, shared a week before his death, showed a home cinema room, with three screens set up to show the latest film in the franchise: The Batman.

Others showed the iconic bat symbol in various settings, including carved into a Halloween pumpkin, with Perry repeatedly referring to himself as Mattman.

The American-Canadian actor had long, and openly, celebrated his love of the comic book character.

It is a motif that runs through his 2022 memoir, 'Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing', with the final chapter even titled... you guessed it... "Batman".

In the autobiography, he admits to jokingly calling an assistant “Alfred” who, in turn, calls him “Mr Wayne" (after Bruce Wayne), and reveals that he used to imagine his father as Superman and himself as the dark knight.

Perry reinforced his Batman obsession in the days leading up to his deathmattyperry4/Instagram

In an interview with GQpublished just before the book's release, Perry confessed that he once bought a 10,400-square-foot LA penthouse simply because it resembled the home of Christian Bale’s Batman in The Dark Knight.

Perry’s reasoning at the time was apparently: “Bruce Wayne had a penthouse – I’m going to have one.”

During the interview, he also revealed that he was building a dedicated Batman room in his new house (which he branded “a Matt cave”), with a pool table, large TV, and black sofa surrounded by shelves of his Batman paraphernalia.

Probed on the reason for his obsession, Perry replied: “I am Batman.”

He then explained: “Well, he’s a rich loner. We both drive black, cool cars.”

He then conceded: “I don’t solve crime. But I’ve saved people’s lives.”

In one of GQ’s ‘10 things I can’t live without’ segments, Perry shared further insight into his batty mania, saying that it began with the Christopher Nolan movies but extended to the latest instalment, starring Robert Pattinson.

During the deadpan run-through, he admitted that he had “too much Batman stuff”, but then ended the video by joking that after seeing all his essential items, viewers “should probably know by now that I'm Batman.”

10 Things Matthew Perry Can't Live Without |

Perry’s fans and many of his 8.1 million Instagram followers speculated whether his most recent run of themed posts was more than just another outpouring of adoration for the franchise.

They thought it was a hint that he’d been cast in a new Batman role, particularly given that one of the captions penned by Perry read: “Do you understand what I'm trying to tell you?”

Still, all we know for sure is that Perry saw a lot of himself in Batman – or should that be, he saw a lot of Batman in himself?

Regardless, the similarities are striking, especially when you consider what Perry once responded when asked what he’d like his legacy to be.

“I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker and his paramount thing is that he wants to help people,” he replied.

The sentiment is an undeniable echo of one of Batman’s most famous quotes: “It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”

And what Perry did was make people laugh and cry and, ultimately, save lives.

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings

The Conversation (0)