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Tag Archives: Zac Efron
Promoting his work in the Nicholas Sparks adaptation “The Lucky One,” actor Zac Efron laughs easily — and mostly at himself. Best-known for leading Disney’s “High School Musical” through three profitable films, the young actor’s also trying real parts in films like the criminally under-seen “Me and Orson Welles,” or trying to mesh with ensembles, as in “Hairspray.” The film sees Efron play an ex-Marine, searching for a woman whose photo he found in Iraq, even as it saved his life. From the best-selling author of “The Notebook,” it’s a romance that sees Efron find Taylor Schilling, the girl in the photo, and tenderly and tentatively romance before they both get doused with water and make sweet, PG-13 love, Sparks-style. MSN was part of a group of reporters who spoke to Efron about his experiences making “The Lucky One.”
On the difference between reading big, romantic moments in a script and watching them play out-screen.
Zac Efron: There’s a cynical part of you. The red flags go off with just a couple of lines, for me, anyway. But then I think back to moments when I’ve been in, you know, and I’ve said things way crazier than that. It’s all relative. There was a little bit of shiver when I realized I was going to do that on camera, but I think a little bit of pride too you know?
On if he became attached to the dog-actor who plays his companion Zeus:
We went through so much, me and Rowdy. The first time I met him I wasn’t even really allowed to engage it, because the dog loses respect for you. We had this like rollercoaster relationship. We went from virtually me paying no attention to him, to him being interested. Finally I was able to sort of engage him, and we became best friends. We had a great working relationship, best actor on the set, super talented. Yeah — I became very attached to the dog.
Up in Canada’s largest, loudest, most vibrant city for the 33rd annual Toronto International Film Festival, my schedule’s a blur of movies and interviews, films unspooling in the dark and talking with actors, directors and writers in the fluorescent light of busy, bustling hotel suites. And I can’t really think of any one movie for Rocchi’s Retro Rental this week, if only because my mind’s full of very many movies right now, which is part of the reason behind this slightly even more retro edition of Rocchi’s Retro Rental.
For example, I’ve had the chance to see Blindness, the film adaptation of the novel by Nobel Prize-winning Jose Saramago, and interview the screenwriter, Don McKellar; McKellar’s look at a world where people are afflicted by a mysterious “white sickness” that renders the population sightless is raw, and riveting. It’s also curiously parallel to his directorial debut, the funny and powerful Last Night, where a group of Torontonians cope with the fact that the world’s going to end at midnight, each in a different way. If you don’t know recent Canadian cinema but might like a good place to start — or just want to see a brilliant, human film about who we are in our modern age — Last Night is a must-see, as I explained last year in “Apocalypse Soon.” But, of course, that’s not the only movie on my mind. …
I also had the chance, here in Toronto, to catch Richard Linklater’s new film, Me and Orson Welles, about a young man (played by Zac Efron) who winds up part of the Mercury Theater’s famed 1930′s production of Julius Caesar. The youthful energy and scenes of Efron wandering through New York’s record stores immediately brought to mind Slacker, Linklater’s debut; there’s a big difference between ’90s Austin hipsters and Manhattan’s 1930′s literary scene, but a lot of similarities, too. It made me want to see Slacker again just as much as I wanted to revisit it two years at the South by Southwest Film Festival, as I explained in “Deep in the Heart of Slackness.”
Later in the festival, I’m going to have the chance to see Charles Martin Smith’s Stone of Destiny — which, of course, brought to mind Smith’s work in the excellent Never Cry Wolf, based on a book by Farley Mowat, inspired by Mowat’s own experiences in the wilds of Canada’s north among the wolf population and stark beauty of the vast tundra — which, to clarify for those of you with a limited knowledge of Canadian geography, I must hasten to add I’m nowhere near — that wrote about in “Unto the Wild.”
And, of course, a walk down the crowded urban streets of Toronto may be rushed, but not so much that I can’t think of a few favorite films as I pass pertinent landmarks. My hotel’s just a few blocks up from the mall where The Silent Partner was filmed, a lesser-known ’70s crime film that many of the friends of this column know and love; walking home after a couple of midnight screenings, I’ve kept one eye open, looking out for Christopher Plummer’s creepy crook from that film … and if you want to know more about one of the great unseen ’70s crime films, it’s all in “‘Twas the Heist Before Christmas.”
I also had the chance to talk with Ed Harris about his new western Appaloosa; between that and a friend’s enthusiastic Twitter about The Dark Knight, I’ve been thinking about The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, the John Wayne/Jimmy Stewart western classic about the rule of force against the rule of law, and how now and then, you have to print the legend; brooding, blunt and beautifully black-and-white, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a movie that may be a fifty-year-old vision of the past, but still feels relevant today, as I talked about in “The New Old West, the Old New West.” …
And that’s, perhaps, not something you can say about this column this week, but my tired brain keeps kicking up ideas and movies and moments and scenes, and sitting to write about just one film felt, you know, just so 20th Century; I’ll be back next week, a little calmer and a little smarter and a little more focused — and between now and then, if you have something you’ve Retro Rented and loved recently, let me know below — when I get back, the irony is that I’m sure I’ll feel like unwinding with a good movie.