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Parkland
Role: Dr. Charles 'Jim'
Release: 9/20/2013
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Neighbors
Role: Teddy Sanders
Release: 5/9/2014
IMDb | Official
That Awkward Moment
Role: Jason
Release: 1/31/2014
IMDb | Official

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May 29, 2012

CANNES, France—Zac Efron felt uncomfortable filming his revealing role “The Paperboy”—and he says that’s the way he wanted it.

The “High School Musical” actor has moved into decidedly grown-up territory with the film by “Precious” director Lee Daniels, which screened Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival.

It’s a swampy slice of Southern gothic set in the 1960s, with Efron as an aspiring writer helping his journalist brother (Matthew McConaughey) investigate a possible miscarriage of justice. Efron’s Jack falls for Nicole Kidman’s sparky but sultry femme fatale, who is in turn obsessed with a death row inmate (a supremely creepy John Cusack).

The cast also includes singer Macy Gray as Jack’s family maid and surrogate mother, and British actor David Oyelowo as an ambitious big-city journalist.

Efron spends much of the film in his underpants, but says he didn’t mind the scrutiny.
“I don’t think I was supposed to feel comfortable,” the 24-year-old actor told reporters in Cannes. “It’s like life. This character is supposed to be learning the ways of the
world, and that can be very uncomfortable. But it’s also exciting.”

Daniels had a shallower explanation for all the Efron flesh on display. “He’s a good-looking guy,” the director said. “And I’m gay. What do you want?”

Efron is not the only actor asked to bare his soul in the movie, which combines a crime thriller plot with a swampy landscape and undercurrents of racism and sexuality into a pungent gumbo.

Cusack sheds a lifetime of good guy roles to play the sweaty, sinister inmate, and loved every minute of it.

“I felt like I’d been let out of some cage,” Cusack said. Kidman also stretches herself, playing a sexually adventurous woman drawn to danger. In one memorable scene she administers to Efron the traditional treatment for jellyfish sting—urine. “I’d been looking as an actor for something raw and something dangerous,” Kidman said.

“I may be uncomfortable watching the movie. But that’s my job—it’s my job to give over to something, not to censor it, not to put my own judgments of how I feel as Nicole playing the character. I am there to portray a truth.

“I don’t want to be pigeonholed,” she added. “I’m willing to fail because of that. I just want to try.”

Kidman worked hard to create Charlotte Bless, interviewing women who were in love with convicts and putting together the character’s bold look.

Click here to read this full article

Author: Kathryn | Categories: Articles, The Paperboy

5 Responses to “Efron leaves his comfort zone in ‘The Paperboy’”

  1. Karen says:

    Yay, Deborah and Yvette.

  2. cara says:

    I am your biggest fan and how did you become famous.

  3. Deborah says:

    Loved you thinking and point of view Yvette. I agree completely. Read the book and all will make sense. This movie has the ability of taking Zac to a level of acceptance regarding his craft than any he has made to date. The “pee scene” is not the focus of the story…just a minor scene in the building of the raw texture that Mr. Dexter (author) and Mr. Daniels (director) want to achieve in layng bare human nature…..
    Check out the coverage of the showing of the film in Cannes…..especially the news conference and the questions asked…. seems the press and coordinators of the discussion had “issues” with sexual or as they called it erotic content…much a do about nothing

    Let’s all support Zac!! He is so deserving of our support :) )))

  4. Fruitfly says:

    Ha-ha-hah! Mr. Daniels, I don’t blame you one bit. (-;

  5. Yvette says:

    Good on all of them. I’m looking forward to seeing The Paperboy, it’s obviously an edgy movie that took all of them out of their comfort zones, including Lee Daniels. Given the public response at Cannes, whatever chances Lee decided to take in telling the story were well worth it. He can be as flippant as he likes in terms of Zac in his underwear and the watersports and whatever, he clearly felt passionately about his vision for this story and had the courage to go through with it. It’s testament to his talent as a director that the cast trusted him enough to follow through with him IMO. It’s also testament to Zac’s commitment to his craft that he wants to find roles to test and stretch him as an actor and is, by all accounts, willing to soak up whatever those with experience are willing to share with him in terms of sharing their knowledge.

    Much has been made about the pee scene, and of course, it’s there to make us all uncomfortable, cast and audience alike, but I hope there’s some kind of meaning behind it, and it moves the story and the characters forward in some way, rather than just being gratuitous. And that was a very long sentence…

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