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Zac Efron may be loved by teenage girls around the world, but he’s trying his best to step away from his “High School Musical” days and focus on becoming a more well-rounded actor.
The 25-year-old has appeared in a handful of independent films over the last few years, including “Me and Orson Welles,” “The Paperboy” and more recently “At Any Price,” for which he attended the premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 19.
Efron briefly chatted with HuffPost Celebrity on the red carpet, admitting he doesn’t know how he became an “indie darling.”
“I don’t know,” he told reporters of what inspired him to make a commitment to films outside of mainstream production. “I’ve been doing a lot of interviews with Dennis [Quaid] and his words of wisdom are sort of just fresh in my mind. Dennis says the only role he sort of had for himself in this career is to do as many different types of movies as possible and never stop stretching or trying something new, particularly roles that challenge you. And working with great directors,” he added, “That’s really all I want to do.”
HuffPost caught up with Quaid at the screening as well, who coincidentally echoed Efron’s sentiments: “The only strategy I’ve ever had is to play as many different types of roles as possible.”
Q: Was Zac Efron interested in NASCAR racing before filming At Any Price? —Megan P., Denver
A: “I was completely new to it,” says Efron, 25, whose character pursues a NASCAR career in the film (in theaters April 24). Despite his inexperience, Efron did his own driving. “They just put me in a car and said, ‘Go!’ At one point, I got up to 140 miles per hour. It was a rush!”
Online Extra: Which star did Zac Efron have a childhood crush on?
“I had a poster of Tyra Banks in my bedroom. She was the only girl I really had a crush on. Other than her, the rest of my posters were skateboards, BMX bikes, and Tony Hawk,” he says. Efron hasn’t met Banks yet, adding “I hope we get to hang out soon. [laughs] I haven’t gotten to meet her yet.”
Zac Efron says hiking in Bicol is one of his most memorable experiences in the Philippines
Zac Efron considers his visit to the Philippines as a “dream come true.”
So when local clothing brand Penshoppe asked him to be their endorser, Zac did not hesitate to accept the offer.
“They don’t really have to convince me. I’ve always wanted to come out to the Philippines,” said the 24-year-old Hollywood actor in an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), Spot.ph, and Candy Magazine earlier today, September 29, at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Manila.
“I was thrilled that a brand like Penshoppe, you know, has an opportunity like this for me and they wanted me to do it.
“I was ecstatic not only because of the brand but it’s also very cool. They gave me a chance to go to the Philippines, which I always wanna do.”
Since he was a kid, the High School Musical star has heard things about the Philippines through his father, a former merchant marine who often visited the country in the past.
Zac recalled, “When I was young, my dad used to come out here a lot.
“When I was young, he was always the adventurous type.
“You know, I always admire him for going out and experiencing different culture and seeing the world, specifically the Philippines. So I always wanted to come out here.
“When Penshoppe said that I could do it, I was like really thrilled. I couldn’t believe it—it’s like a dream come true.”
OUTDOOR TYPE. It looks like Zac got the outdoorsy characteristic of his father. This became evident when PEP asked him about the things he wants to do before turning 30.
He replied, “I would love to see more of the world—that’s the best thing.
“That’s one of my favorite things about being in this industry, it opens eyes to different culture.
“I really love to be out there and experience the world. I don’t like to stay at home.”
In his first gay-press interview, Zac Efron talks marriage equality, gay rumors, and why he almost went commando for his new film, The Paperboy.
Zac Efron was turning gay heads way before director Lee Daniels stripped him to his skivvies for the pulpy, ’60s-set southern thriller The Paperboy, which steams up theaters October 5. The High School Musical heartthrob is finally ready to return the love in his first gay press interview, which even he acknowledges is long overdue.
It’s good to see you return to your dancing roots with Nicole Kidman in the trailer for The Paperboy, but your moves seem to have gotten wetter and more naked.
Believe it or not, that dance in the rain wasn’t planned. Nicole’s fun to work with because she’s very improvisational. She just started dancing with me, and we went with the moment.
Surely you knew that scene would attract some prurient attention.
With a scene like that, you just have to stick with it and see where it takes you. After the fact, though, I remember thinking, Oh, jeez, what did I just get myself into?
Matthew McConaughey, your Paperboy costar, helped design his thong for Magic Mike. Did you help select your white briefs?
I did, yeah. It’s a period movie, so there weren’t really a lot of choices. Initially, I wondered if my character would even wear underwear at all. But that would’ve been a very different movie.
Young Hollywood actor Zac Efron has humbly insisted that he is a far cry from being the heartthrob that the public claims him to be. Efron found his fame and army of female fans with his stint in Disney’s “High School Musical” films.
The young actor told the New York Daily News that he really does not see himself as a sex symbol. Efron also shared that his family and friends helped him in many ways in order to keep his feet firmly on the ground.
“They know exactly who I am and I’m far from a heartthrob,” said the 24-year-old Efron. “That word kind of follows you around, but I don’t know how exactly one earns it,” he added.
Meanwhile, Efron also revealed how he manages to keep his real and celebrity life apart.
“You kind of put life into two parts of your mind. There’s the Hollywood section and then there’s real life. One of them is more of a show but it never overshadows real life for me. As long as you can draw a comparison between the two, one of which you know to be more important, you’re good. For me, the choice is very easy. One is where I work, one is where I live,” the actor revealed to the New York Daily News.
Despite his humility with these given symbolic titles of being sexy and a heartthrob, Zac Efron is still gaining recognition, mostly with female audiences, for his looks and acting abilities. Efron was named second on the People’s 2011 Most Beautiful list.
For this year, Efron became busy with numerous projects, which includes his voice character as Ted Wiggins in the animated film “The Lorax” and starring in the film adaptation of Nicholas Spark’s novel “The Lucky One.” To make him even busier, Efron has also filmed his role in the upcoming independent film “The Paperboy” alongside Australian actress Nicole Kidman. With that, Zac Efron’s legion of female fans will definitely be delighted to see more of the young heartthrob actor on the big screen.