Tag Archives: Zac Efron

ZAC EFRON DELIVERS WINNING MUSICAL PERFORMANCE IN “THE GREATEST SHOWMAN”

 

Zac Efron stars in Twentieth Century Fox's "The Greatest Showman."

Zac Efron stars in Twentieth Century Fox’s “The Greatest Showman.”

Nurturing an impressive body of work that encompasses both film and television, Zac Efron has proven to be one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents.  Efron became a household name with the launch of the 2006 Emmy Award-winning Disney Channel phenomenon “High School Musical” as Troy Bolton.  He reprised his role as Troy Bolton, head of the basketball team, in “High School Musical 2,” which broke cable TV records garnering 17.5 million viewers.  Zac also starred in the Disney feature film “High School Musical 3:  Senior Year,” the third installment of the extremely successful High School Musical franchise.  HSM3 set a box office record as the highest grossing opening weekend total for a musical.  He also starred in the box-office smash summer film “Hairspray,” which won the Critics’ Choice award for Best Ensemble.

Continuing his box-office breaking records with musicals, Efron gives an all-out different kind of performance in his latest movie “The Greatest Showman” with Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Keala Settle and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II directed by Michael Gracey who makes his feature film debut.

Hugh Jackman stars as the visionary innovator, P.T. Barnum, who invented show business in “The Greatest Showman.”  Raised in a poor family, and through the sheer scope of his imagination and tenacity, Barnum sets about achieving the impossible, launching his groundbreaking circus and in the process, transforming entertainment.  Efron takes on the role of Phillip Carlyle, an upper-class New York thespian and entrepreneur, the kind of person who looks down on Barnum’s circus until he’s asked to work with the charismatic impresario.

Though much of The Greatest Showman is drawn from the outlines of P.T. Barnum’s life, the fictional characters of Efron and Zendaya bring in fresh points of view.  Carlyle also intrigued him.  “Phillip Carlyle is someone who has grown up very privileged, but he’s not happy where he’s at and he feels very sort of caged in and jaded,” Efron explains.  “Then he meets Barnum and he sees that P.T. just doesn’t care what people think. It’s liberating for Phillip and the beginning of a great friendship.”

For Efron, Carlyle’s first experience in Barnum’s circus is one of a man having the haze lifted from his eyes.  It becomes more than an epiphany when his eyes meet those of aerialist Anne Wheeler (Zendaya).   The character gave Efron the chance to get caught up in the kind of cinematic moment that most inspires him.  “Falling in love in a musical number on camera is one of my absolute favorite things to do in the world,” he confesses.  “I’m not ashamed to say it. I know it’s pretend but when you get to live in that kind of moment for a scene or two, it feels amazing. It brings you back to Gene Kelly and Singin’ In The Rain.  Are there any better ways to express true love than in song?”

The love story between Phillip and Anne also involves a 3rd party – Anne’s brother and aerial partner, W.D. Wheeler, portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who plays villain in the forthcoming “Aquaman” and star of Netflix’s “The Get Down.” Says Efron:  “Although Phillip’s feelings for Anne are completely real and justified, they’re also forbidden by society at that time and it’s really sad.  That was a very different time — though even today, social boundaries and differences go on preventing love and preventing people from uniting with one another.  The big breakthrough for Phillip, I think, is that moment he realizes that you don’t have to live within the constraints that everyone else has drawn.  You don’t have to follow rules that are wrong.  You don’t have to color inside the lines.  You can be your own person.”

“The Greatest Showman” opens January 31 (also available in IMAX screens) in theaters nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

ZAC EFRON CHANNELS RYAN LOCHTE IN THE NEW SEX COMEDY “BAYWATCH”

Baywatch, Zac Efron

Nurturing an impressive body of work that encompasses both film and television, Zac Efron has proven to be one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents.

This season, Efron co-stars opposite Dwayne Johnson in Paramount Pictures’ Baywatch, the highly-anticipated comedy based off the popular ’90s TV show.

In Philippine cinemas starting May 31, Baywatch follows devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Johnson) as he butts heads with Matt Brody (Efron), a brash new recruit. Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.

From the beginning, Baywatch had been envisioned as a buddy comedy, and the producers knew they’d need an actor who could hold his own against Johnson’s larger than life on-screen alter ego. They found a perfect foil in Efron, who is quickly becoming a go-to actor for ‘R’ rated comedies, having recently added Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016) and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016) to his already impressive resume.

I wasn’t allowed to watch Baywatch growing up,” Efron laments. “But I do remember sneaking it, late at night, after Howard Stern on a crappy old TV with a dial. One time, I was channel flipping and came across this awesome show full of boats and explosions and I just thought the whole thing was amazing. When the show was over, I realized it was Baywatch, and I was like, ‘Holy cow. That was amazing.’”

Zac’s incredibly handsome, charming and funny,” Johnson says of his co-star. “He’s got this great boyish quality at times, and I love him like a brother. He’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, so it’s that much more fun to have him play a cocky asshole and mix it up with him.”

Efron plays Matt Brody, a bad boy Olympic swimmer and two time gold medalist who arrives in Emerald Bay expecting a spot on Mitch’s highly competitive, handpicked Baywatch team.

Brody throws a wrench in things,” Johnson explains. “We’ve got this team that’s gelling, but he’s this hotshot coming off the Olympics, who thinks he can just join the team without being trained properly.”

At the Olympics, Brody won his solo events, but messed up the team relay because he got drunk the night before,” says Efron. “He did some illegal stuff, and joining Baywatch is part of his parole.”

We drew some inspiration from Ryan Lochte in our approach to Brody, which Zac responded to immediately,” director Seth Gordon recalls. “The character was written before the real Lochte got himself into trouble, which ended up being unexpectedly prescient.”

The world has had to live without Baywatch for such a long time, so I couldn’t be more excited to be bringing it back,” says Efron enthusiastically. “We’re building on one of the greatest TV shows of all time, and Dwayne, Ilfenesh, Jon, Alexandra, Kelly and Priyanka are all so amazing and talented. It’s going to be hilarious and action-packed. I’m really stoked about it.”

Baywatch is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

ZAC EFRON IN BUDDY ROAD TRIP COMEDY WITH ROBERT DE NIRO IN “DIRTY GRANDPA”

Dirty Grandpa

Zac Efron and Robert De Niro go on a wild familial bonding in “Dirty Grandpa,” where Edron plays young, buttoned-up, conservative lawyer Jason Kelly who is in the final stages of preparation for a picture-perfect wedding to his seemingly ideal fiancée Meredith Goldstein (Julianne Hough) when Jason’s beloved paternal grandmother passes. Though it’s the week before his big day, everyone’s concerned for Grandpa Dick (Robert De Niro), suddenly alone for the first time after 40 years of marriage.

After the funeral, Dick asks if Jason can drive him to Florida the following day, where he can grieve in the solace of their beloved getaway home. Knowing that Dick’s license has been suspended – and with the promise that he’ll be back the next day – Jason reluctantly agrees.

Once the trip begins, Grandpa’s true agenda emerges and it’s decidedly not one of him moping silently in a car. Between the golf detour, the cigar chomping, hard-drinking, and the Daytona Beach detour that goes completely off the rails, Jason quickly learns that the grandpa he knows and loves is not exactly the man he thought he was. Yet the pair’s crazy, debauched and revealing road trip will also help Jason come to grips with who he is too, which may be an even bigger surprise. With these very different blood relatives, learning something about how life should be lived turns out to be a two-way street.

For the role of Jason, Dick’s conservative and uptight grandson tricked into serving as co-pilot to Dick’s last effort at youth-grabbing wish fulfillment, the script was sent to actor Zac Efron, whose recent foray into the comedy realm with Neighbors proved to be a huge success. Efron found the script shocking, smart, and hilarious and was all-in, particularly when presented with the possibility of working with the incomparable Robert De Niro.

“It’s every guy’s dream to work with Bob De Niro,” says Efron. “I was really curious how we would work together. He’s been doing this for so long, he’s such an icon, yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do a role like this. The day I heard this could potentially happen, every antenna went up. It was like, ‘Could I even work with this guy?’ Our histories are so different! There’s Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver, and then there’s me, High School Musical!”

Efron continues, “being such a big fan, it was an opportunity to learn from one of the absolute greatest actors that’s ever lived. He’s such a presence on camera – formidable and dramatic and real – that when he applies all those talents and skill to comedy, the screen just blows up. I would break constantly because the stuff that would come out of his mouth was insane. Then the movie ended up being really cool, so it was a double win.”

Zac Efron notes that as packed with laughs as it is, the undercurrent of family bonding and self-expression in Dirty Grandpa gives the comedy a richer texture. “At the end of the day, the movie is about family coming back together, and about being set free,” says Efron. “It’s a story of growth and happiness. It’s just that the road there is ridiculously funny and chaotic.”

Guaranteed to be a boundless, wild ride, Dirty Grandpa is sure to not disappoint, either as a raucous laugh-getter or a compelling, inspiring story of two men seeking different types of fulfillment. Says director Dan Mazer, “All road trips lead somewhere. But in this case, it’s a destination of understanding, growth and bonding that points the way forward for both Dick and Jason, who come to realize how much they had to learn from each other. There may not be many dignified moments on their journey, but the ultimate indignity is tolerating a life you don’t want, and that’s where Jason grows the most from hanging out with his one-of-a-kind Dirty Grandpa.”

“Dirty Grandpa” opens this February 3 in cinemas from Pioneer Films.