Article: Maui News
Shortly after arriving on Maui earlier this week, young movie star Zac Efron went for a swim in front of his resort.
"I was taking a dip. It's the first thing you do here, right?" said the 22-year-old screen star best known for his roles in the "High School Musical" series on TV and the movies.
Except when Zac Efron does it, it winds up on the cover of People magazine.
"Hilarious," said Efron, on the island to accept the Maui Film Festival's Shooting Star Award, bestowed in an outdoor ceremony Wednesday night in the festival's signature venue, the Celestial Cinema on the Wailea Golf Course.
Efron, whose new drama "Charlie St. Cloud" opens in theaters in a few weeks, accepted the award, which says: "while still in the ascendancy of his career - with many magnetic performances both behind and ahead of him - always generates as much light as heat."
Efron was using the Maui vacation as an opportunity to bond with his younger brother, Dylan, a recent graduate of Arroyo Grande High School on the Central California coast.
The personable star of other films, including "17 Again" and "Hairspray," attributed growing up in the rural community with helping him navigate the entertainment world after he moved to Los Angeles.
"I grew up in a small town, a lovely beach town," he said. "There's like cows 100 yards from our backyard that we'd shoot with slingshots. I still have a lot of friends back there.
"So moving to L.A. has been a lifestyle change," he continued in an interview prior to taking the stage for the award. But he said he felt grounded as a result of how he grew up.
"I think I know what's real and what's not. I've been able to figure it out for myself and distinguish between the good and the bad that comes from living in Los Angeles," he said. "It's a tough balance. There's a lot of things you don't want to become involved with. But at the same time, opportunities abound."
While his next role goes in a more dramatic direction, depicting a young man grappling with the death of his brother, he takes pride in having helped usher in a new era of musicals on movie and TV screens.
"I would never take credit for it, but I would say the resurgence of musicals is such an amazing trend," he said. "I'm glad to be a part of it. Every time a fan comes up to me and tells me 'High School Musical' encouraged me to join my school play, or 'I didn't even know I could sing before, but it gave me the courage to try.' Those are the things you remember. It's way better than just asking for pictures."
ETA: I can't get it to embed cause E! video embeds suck hardcore but Marc Malkin did a little wrap up of last night here. There is also a raw video segment on E!... but it is the same as what is covered in the getty footage.
ETA2: Marc Malkin's E! article
Zac Efron has been in Hawaii for the last few days surfing, cliff jumping and yes, getting leied.
The 22-year-actor was honored last night at the Maui Film Festival with the Shining Star Award.
Not only did I conduct the night's official Q&A with Zac, but I also got the chance to chat with him backstage before the big shebang. Read on to get the scoop…
"I've never had a better day surfing," said Efron, who brought his younger brother Dylan, 17, on the trip. "If you're going to go, you need to go here. The conditions are unbelievable. In California, the waves kind of toss you around. There always seems to be an offshore breeze.
"Here in Maui, I was out there and the water was so glassy and clear," continued Efron, who took surfing lessons with celebrity surf instructor Kiva Rivers. "It was like a bathtub. The waves just stay wide open for long rides in."
Rest and relaxation aside, Efron said he looks for career inspiration from people like Leonardo DiCaprio. However, he insists he has no master plans for how he wants it to all unfold.
"In my career, I've never been the man with the plan," he said. "I've never been one to say, I want to be here in 10 years. People always ask, ‘Where do you want to be in 10 years? What do you see in the future?' I don't know. I always like to throw caution to the wind and follow my heart."
Efron will next be seen in the drama Charlie St. Cloud with Ray Liotta and Kim Basinger. "I'm loving the ride right now," he beamed. "I'm loving it."
On stage, he cracked, "I've been here five minutes [and] I got leid."
Before the awards ceremony, which took place outside at the Celestial Cinema on the Wailea Golf Course, Efron hit the opening night party at Capische? restaurant along with Malin Akerman, Josh Radnor and Dan Byrd.
Later on, Efron mingled and even did some dancing at Tommy Bahama before calling it a night.