“Well, because I didn’t think anything could beat the Chris Nolan movies. And I would say The Dark Knight is the best one. Then The Batman. Then Batman Begins. And then The Dark Knight Rises. That’s the order.”
Do you work at these lists?
[clearly joking] “I spend most of my time doing that.”
“Yes. I often say I’m Batman.”
To other people?
And what do they say?
“They think I’m crazy. No, they understand.
That’s why every gift I get, people have trouble buying things for me because when I want something I just go buy it. So they end up getting me Batman stuff. I’m going to have a whole Batman room in my new house. Like a Matt cave.”
I see what you did there. And what will it have in?
“A pool table. A big TV, a black couch. And then surrounded by shelves of Batman paraphernalia that I have.”
And will you just go and sit in there?
“You watch TV, you watch the Batman movies. You play the Batman video game. There’s a lot to do.”
“It is unusual. But I think your story should be I’m Batman. Or ‘he’s Batman’.”
I’m listening. And I’d like more and more evidence, and I will try and come to an honest determination.
Do you think about this a lot of the time?
“The Batman thing? No. It just is with me all the time.”
A few minutes later, when the waitress here at Soho house takes Perry’s very precise order—meatballs, then a hamburger medium well, with no bun and no cheese and no fries but ketchup on the side—he has a question for her.
“Do I resemble Batman at all to you?” he asks.
“Yeah,” she replies, carefully.
Later, when Perry gets up to leave, I ask how he will spend the rest of the evening, and he says: “There’s a friend home. I think I’m going to watch a movie and then crash out. It’s been a long day. That was a long day.” I ask whether he knows what movie he’ll watch and he says, perfectly seriously, “The Batman.” (In the end, he’ll read John Grisham’s latest instead.) Before that, as we are eating Perry’s beloved sticky toffee pudding for dessert, he mutters, “I imagine your title for this article will be ‘Enjoying Sticky Toffee Pudding with Matthew Perry’.”
I ask him what the title would be if it were up to him. His answer comes instantly:
“‘Is Matthew Perry really Batman?’”