While the topic of Zac Efron might be pushing the limits of a Marin-centric blog, I figure there has to be a tie in somewhere...as in his photo on the cover of People this week is in my local Safeway. Anyway, back to the story. I just got back from the glorious Maui Film Festival with my family, where teen heart throb Zac Efron was in attendance to accept a Shining Star Award. From my two preteen daughters, the buzz of "where is Zac Efron staying" was deafening. One source (10-year old) from the beach told them he had rented out the 8th floor of the Grand Wailea. Another informant on the Grand Wailea water slides swore he saw Zac and Vanessa at the neighboring Four Seasons. Alas, the preteen information flow was wrong. Zac and his brother were staying at the Fairmont Kea Lani, and apparently having a great time. After all the flurry of possible Zac sightings, I had to ask Wendy Harvey who works with the Fairmont about their famous visitor.
Why do you think Zac decided to stay at the Fairmont?
Zac and his girlfriend, Vanessa, had vacationed at The Fairmont Kea Lani about 3 years ago in a 2 bedroom oceanfront villa. They had a great time and even got certified in SCUBA diving. And, let's face it, the 1800 sq ft. villa with the private plunge pool just steps from Polo Beach is reason enough to return.
Was he easy to work with?
I was blown away with how polite Zac was. He was very gracious and grateful and offered his assistance willingly. He wasn't demanding at all - there were no special requests for his villa or transportation.
Did he hide in his room?
Quite the contrary - Zac could be seen all over the hotel. He went to Spa Kea Lani, had his hair cut at Juvenal's Hair Salon, ate at Ko Restaurant, Nick's Fishmarket, and at Caffe Ciao deli, he even cheerfully posed for photos with young guests. He also swam at the adults-only pool, and hung out in his pool cabana with his brother, Dylan.
Did he have a huge entourage?
No. He traveled with his publicist and brother. However, there were several Maui Film Festival people escorting him places.
Anything surprise you about him?
I think Zac is one of the most polite people I've ever met. There's not an ounce of pretentiousness in him. He is very respectful of others. For example, while at dinner at Ko, with a large group, he listened attentively and when someone would speak the same time as he did, he would stop and allow them to continue rather than dominate the conversation. He gave sincere thanks for the opportunities presented to him during the festival. He would go out of his way to acknowledge me as well as others he'd just recently met at festival events. Anyone can tell, he's also very fond of his brother. It seems he has a close family and parents who raised him right.
Pic with Wendy Harvey:
One other article re: Maui...
Context for you: Earlier in the day this writer had been in a group meditation session with some dude named Braco. She decided to compare who was more interesting to gaze at. Braco sucked and was a rip-off...
Celebrating the First Annual Gazing Day With Zac Efron and Braco
OK. Maybe I’m not giving Braco enough credit. It was miraculous that within an hour after my session at The Studio I’d sought, bought and squeezed myself into a jade-colored Calvin Klein sheath dress, off the clearance rack at Ross, grabbed a new tube of red lipstick from Longs and was on my way to the opening night of the Maui Film Festival—and a one-on-one interview with Zac Efron.
Honestly, at this point, Efron had won my gaze competition by default, but he would go on to earn it. Forbes “Celebrity 100” lister though he may be, he hustles for his stash. From a Wailea sunset photo shoot to a videotaped beach-view interview to another photo shoot to more interviews to a screening of an awkward clip-homage to his budding career and a final, even more awkward onscreen interview, set to the soundtrack of hyperventilating pre-teens.
Sure he’s cookie-cutter, but damn if he didn’t hold his own. Asked my silly, Pidgin-style questions, he was too trained and too clever to stray off topic but also seemed to genuinely mean well. His handshake was firm and his interest jovial, which gets a thumbs-up from me any day. And he posed for a MauiTime BUSTED! photo.
More than his gaze, I was fascinated by how he automatically, almost unconsciously stopped to spit out his gum and wipe his face before approaching the press. Or the way he’d flash a response in a very movie star way, but would otherwise cast his eyes down and to the side. When I observed him during other interviews and the same ol’ question was asked, there rippled under his Proactiv-perfect skin subtle signs of strain. That was most mesmerizing of all, so I decided he should win the non-gaze award, too.