Matthew Perry’s Batman-Inspired ‘Mattman’ Instagram Posts Explained: ‘He Was Having Fun,’ Says Source (Exclusive)

The 54-year-old ‘Friends’ star died at his home on Saturday

Matthew Perry was “incredibly happy” and “having fun” prior to his death, a source tells PEOPLE.

The 54-year-old Friends star died at his Los Angeles-area home on Saturday by an apparent drowning.

Five days before his death, Perry posted an Instagram of himself inside a hot tub. He captioned the photo, "Oh, so warm water swirling around makes you feel good? I’m Mattman.”

It was the sixth in a series of "Mattman" posts he shared after watching 2022's The Batman starring Robert Pattinson.

The day before the hot tub photo, the actor posted a video of the moon and wrote, "Do you understand what I'm trying to tell you? - I'm Mattman." On Tuesday, Perry posted on X and said, "Let's make stigmas a stigma. -I'm Mattman #mentalhealth."

The actor's love for Batman was well-documented, including in his memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, where he proclaims several times, "I'm Batman. " In fact, the book concluded with a chapter titled "Batman."

"Someday you, too, might be called upon to do something important, so be ready for it," he writes in the final lines of the book. "And when whatever happens, just think, What would Batman do? and do that."

According to a source, Perry’s recent posts about “Mattman” stemmed from an idea the actor had been working on for a series. “He was having fun,” says the source.

The source says Perry also had just signed on to act in a new drama film, Unworthy, which was on hold due to the strike, and had recently moved into his new home after renovating it.

“He was incredibly happy,” the source adds.

<p>Newsmakers/Getty</p> Matthew Perry


Matthew Perry

Related: Matthew Perry Dead at 54 After Apparent Drowning

TMZ first reported the actor’s death, citing law enforcement sources who told the outlet that there were no drugs found at the scene, and no signs of foul play were present.

Later on Saturday, A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department told PEOPLE 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 co-creators and executive producer of ‘Friends’ released a joint statement on Sunday, saying, “We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing. It still seems impossible. All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives. He was a brilliant talent.”

Perry’s family also released an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, 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." They added, “You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love."

<p>Noam Galai/Getty</p>

Noam Galai/Getty

Related: Matthew Perry Fans Honor Late Actor with Tributes at Chandler Bing's Friends Apartment in N.Y.C.

A year before his death, Perry detailed what legacy he would want to leave behind. “I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker," the actor told Tom Power on the  Q with Tom Power podcast in 2022. "And his paramount thing is that he wants to help people,” Perry added. "That's what I want."

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