This week Zac Efron, best known for the High School Musical movies, takes his first big career risk: playing a grieving older brother in Charlie St. Cloud. Testing his limits is perfectly in keeping with how the 22-year-old likes to spend his summers.
“As soon as the days get longer and the sun hangs in the sky, I feel more alive,” says Efron, who pushes the boundaries off-camera by biking, surfing, and skateboarding. (“I’ve fallen off just about everything it’s possible to fall off of.”) Among the thrills he’s seeking this summer:
Taking a daily dip “The first thing I do every morning is cannonball into the pool. It’s the best way to wake up.”
Rooting for his favorite team Efron loves to go to L.A. Lakers basketball games, but he grew up going to Giants baseball games and would collect players’ autographs. “My dad would drive me and my brother six hours up to San Francisco, and we’d see back-to-back games.”
Enjoying an American classic “My family used to go to drive-in movies, where we’d put that little speaker inside our car to get the sound. It was always such a fun night.”
Roughing it “I really want to hit a national park this summer. I’m a big fan of Bear Grylls and Man vs. Wild. I like to backpack, filter my own water, make a fire. But I bring packaged food—I’m not setting squirrel traps.”
Making Steve Jobs even richer “I always have music on,” Efron says. “The other day, I found out my biggest expense isn’t electricity or gas—it’s iTunes. I spend way too much on music, movies, apps, and games. I’ve got to get that under control.”
Cheering on his girl “Vanessa [Hudgens] is playing Mimi in Rent at the Hollywood Bowl in August. It’s the role of a lifetime for her. The song ‘Out Tonight’ is Vanessa in a nutshell—she loves to have fun. She’s a good partner in crime.”