Zac Efron takes on his most mature role yet in the adaptation of Nicholas Sparks‘ The Lucky One playing U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault who has defied the odds during three tours of duty in Iraq. When Thibault discovers a photograph of an unknown woman (Taylor Schilling) half-buried in the sand and pulls it out, it becomes his lucky charm that he credits with keeping him alive. After he returns stateside, the picture becomes the catalyst for an unusual and moving journey of discovery and healing.
At the press day for The Lucky One, we sat down at a roundtable interview with Efron and Schilling to talk about what drew them to the Nicholas Sparks universe and the story’s interconnecting ideas of luck, love and destiny. They told us how the friendship they developed on set helped when it came time to film some of the movie’s more romantic scenes, how it was working with Academy Award-nominated writer/director Scott Hicks, and what they have coming up next including Efron’s The Paperboy and Schilling’s Argo. Zac also talked about his progression toward more serious roles, how he transformed himself physically for the role, and why it was important to him to give the most accurate portrayal possible after getting to know the Marines at Camp Pendleton.
Are there ever moments where you read this big sweeping romantic dialogue and think, “Oh, come on, nobody talks like that?”
ZAC EFRON: There’s a cynical part of you that red flags go off on a couple lines.
TAYLOR SCHILLING: We talked about a couple of those lines.
SCHILLING: You deserve to be kissed every… That’s exactly what.
EFRON: But then I think back to moments I’ve been in and I’ve said things way, way crazier than that. So it’s all relative. There was a little bit of shivering when I realized I was going to do that on camera, but I think a bit of pride too.
When you watch that as an audience, do you think, “That is stirring?”
EFRON: I mean, I couldn’t look during that part.
How attached did you get to the dog?
EFRON: We went through so much, man, me and that dog, me and Rowdy. It was amazing because the first time I met him, I wasn’t even allowed to engage him because the dog loses respect for you if you do that. We went through this roller coaster relationship from me paying virtually no attention to him and to him being interested. Finally, I was able to engage him and we became best friends. We had a great working relationship. He was the best actor on the set. Super, super talented. Yeah, I grew very attached to the dog.
Read this full interview at Collider.com