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Article - Philippine Daily Inquirer 'The Lucky One'
Erica Paredes

With so many “it” girls and boys coming in and out of the scene, it takes a whole lot of talent, discipline and good people surrounding you to be more than just a flash in the pan. Growing up is difficult enough, so throwing in a few million pairs of eyes watching you do it sounds like a recipe for disaster.

So how did Zac Efron make it from “High School Musical” to his newest flick “The Lucky One,” and the first clothing endorsement ever for Penshoppe, all in one piece?

“I think you need to focus on keeping it about the work. I try and see my family as much as possible,” says Efron. “It’s very easy to become isolated in Los Angeles and once you’re alone in LA, I think that’s when bad things happen.”

Although the Penshoppe shoot took place in a $10 million bachelor pad more suited to the lifestyle of Entourage’s Vince Chase, Efron seems to have his feet more firmly planted on the ground. “Bottom line is that I’ve always known from day 1 that nothing can tear me away from acting,” says the actor, who recently voiced 13-year-old Ted in The Lorax, “and as long as I have what I love to do and good people around me, I think I’m pretty safe.”

He enjoys leaving town a lot to unwind, with hiking as his activity of choice, but he also has an adventurous side. “I recently went bungee jumping,” says Efron. He enjoys traveling a lot, and is now in Australia starting a worldwide press tour for “The Lucky One.”

And speaking of traveling, Efron says he can’t wait to finally visit the Philippines. “I’ve always wanted to go to the Philippines,” he says. “I’ve heard a lot about it from my dad, who has been there a lot, and I always get jealous of all the stories.”

Pinoys will be amused to know that Zac has not only tried and enjoyed adobo, but he’s actually cooked it himself. “I learned how to make chicken adobo,” he says proudly, “and I also like that purple stuff…”

He meant ube, and he apparently also enjoys halo-halo, which he finds delicious. Book your tickets, girls, because Zac plans to swim with the whale sharks, surf, and visit Cebu when he comes to the Philippines! “I’ve heard so much about the place, the food, the beaches,” he says, “I can’t wait to visit.”

“We are very happy and proud to be the first ever endorsement deal of Zac Efron in the world. The fact that he chose a 100 percent Filipino brand is something all Filipinos can be proud of as well,” says Bernie Liu, Chairman of Golden ABC, the company that owns Penshoppe.

Brand Director Alex Mendoza adds, “Zac Efron defines the all-new Penshoppe. From a small brand with very humble beginnings in Mandaue, Cebu, to being the first endorsement choice of a Hollywood A-lister, we have come a long way.”

Filipino friends

According to Efron, close Filipino family friends urged him to accept the endorsement.

“They told me it’s the best clothing brand in the Philippines. Penshoppe is a cool brand. I learned about how they started and their history. It’s an original Pinoy brand.”

“My style mixes great with Penshoppe’s. I’m very casual—a t-shirt-and-jeans kind of guy, and at the same time I want to look nice.” And nice and casual he did look during the interview in Penshoppe jeans, a simple camisa de chino-type shirt, and varsity jacket. He even handpicked a box of clothes from the shoot to bring home for personal use.

Efron has never had a clothing endorsement prior to this, and for someone of his level of celebrity to say yes to Penshoppe is a very big deal. He chooses his movie roles very carefully, and one can assume he does the same when choosing products he has to represent.

Efron says, “I want to make the type of movies that I want to see. I look at a character and I look for integrity.” He prefers to do roles where the character’s actions mirror what he wishes he could do in real life.

Unlike some young actors who come into their own and refuse to consider themselves role models, Efron understands that it comes with the package. “I don’t think being a role model ever goes away,” he says, “and a big part of it is just being yourself.” He adds that it’s not always easy, but keeping focused on what he wants to do helps him stay balanced.

A piece of advice from Zac to young people: “The most important thing you can do is find some creative outlet, some way to express yourself.” He identified with art and created a lot of it growing up. He says it helped him through high school.

He adds, “If people bully you or make fun of you, it’s probably because deep down they are jealous of what you are doing. I was about 12 when I did my first stage production in school. I knew it was fun and that I was doing something different.”

Although some people may have found his choice of school activity cheesy, he thought it was fun and creative and it made him happy. “At that time I didn’t think I would be doing it at this level, but I think that’s what happens when you are doing what you love—you raise the bar and continue to challenge yourself.”
Tags: articles, endorsement, penshoppe, photoshoot, social media
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