Formerly in B&W:
Formerly in color, lol:
“You’re going to meet Zac Efron.”
This was the first thing that the Penshoppe team told me and three other media peeps from the Philippines as we arrived at the lobby of the London West Hollywood Hotel. I seriously wanted to die.
Two weeks prior to that, I was asked by the local brand if they could fly me to LA to have a one-on-one interview with their supposed biggest endorser to date. They didn’t want to name the celebrity until the day of the interview, so technically, I had no idea who I was going to meet in LA. But I said yes.
“It was a top secret project that was one year in the making,” said Joyce Ramirez of Publicity Asia. Joyce is also responsible for bringing Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick and Thai superstar Mario Maurer to the Penshoppe family. Both have come to the Philippines and both have attracted massive attention to the brand.
Getting Zac Efron to endorse your brand? That is no joke. “The fact that Zac chose a 100 percent Filipino brand is something all Filipinos can be proud of,” says Bernie Liu, chairman of Golden ABC (owning company of Penshoppe.)
Labeled as Hollywood’s golden it-boy, Zac Efron has gone a long way. We’ve seen him grow from being a singing high school senior in the box office breaking High School Musical, to a buffed-up marine soldier in the new movie, The Lucky One, which is opening in theaters worldwide next week.
“Zac Efron defines the all-new Penshoppe. From a small brand with very humble beginnings, to being the first endorsement choice of a Hollywood A-lister,” says Brand Director Alex Mendoza.
Everything Zac Efron does is captured by the paparazzi, and instantly goes up on the interwebs, spreading faster than virus. Whether it’s dropping a condom on the red carpet or getting caught with his pants down at a hotel balcony, Zac brings all eyes on him. Millions of them. Consider this author a victim.
So what does a Hollywood A-lister like Zac and a homegrown Filipino brand like Penshoppe have in common? A lot. He says one of the reasons why he said yes to do the endorsement is because he asked one of his closest friends, who happens to be Filipino, if he should do it. Also, aside from having an ex-girlfriend who is half-Pinay, Zac’s dad is a regular who visits our country a lot.
But what surprised me the most was when Zac told me that he can cook a mean adobo and has halo-halo as his favorite dessert. Who knew, right? It doesn’t get any more Pinoy than that!
He is set to visit the Philippines this year to be formally launched by Penshoppe as its biggest endorser to date. To all his Pinoy fans out there, he’s very excited to see and meet all of you. Consider yourselves the lucky ones.
Erica Paredes talks about interviewing Zac for the Philippine Daily Inquirer
Picture of Zac and Erica
Startalk Interview with Ricky Lo
ETA: 2 pics and an article
Article: The Philippine Star with Ricky Lo 'Zac & Penshoppe: The Lucky Ones'
It’s Wednesday afternoon and even after a whole-day pictorial for Penshoppe, his first endorsement ever, Zac Efron shows up for this Conversation at a suite of London Hotel looking fresh, a big smile on his face and a friendly glint in his dreamy eyes that have charmed millions of girls worldwide in the hit TV series High School Musical.
He looks a bit smaller than he does in his latest movie, The Lucky One.....
This time around, Zac is playful just like he was a few years back when Conversations did an exclusive one-on-one with him and Vanessa Hudgens for High School Musical.
What convinced you to endorse Penshoppe?
“I always love the Philippines. I have a lot of friends that are from the Philippines. They are my Philippine connection.”
You have more “connection.”
“Oh yeah, my ex-girlfriend is half-Filipino.”
Hmmm, do I know her?
“Yes, you do. She’s Vanessa (Hudgens).”
If Vanessa is your ex, who’s your current?
(Laughs) “There’s no ‘current.’” (In previous interviews, he denied rumors linking him to Demi Moore.)
It’s the first time you’re endorsing anything…and a Philippine product at that.
What’s your criteria in choosing what to endorse?
“Well, first of all this is an amazing, amazing excuse to go to the Philippines. I’ve always wanted to visit the Philippines. My dad stayed for a long time in the Philippines and he has been telling me great stories about it. I’m looking forward to go surfing, I wanna dive, I wanna swim with the whale sharks, I just wanna hang around, I wanna…yes, I wanna go to the Philippines!” (Penshoppe guys confirmed that Zac is indeed visiting the Philippines maybe after he’s done with the promo for The Lucky One.)
When you go to Manila, your billboards will be all over the metropolis. How soon do you plan to go?
“Uhm, even tomorrow…if I could. But unfortunately, I have to go elsewhere for The Lucky One. I’m going to Australia and then Japan.”
I suppose you’ve tried the Penshoppe clothes before you agreed to endorse the brand. What can you say about them?
“I think they are cool, they’re casual. You see, I’m a very casual dresser. In fact, I’m wearing Penshoppe now…the shirt, the jacket. I’ve read about the brand’s history — you know Buy Filipinos, For Filipinos.”
I saw the trailer for The Lucky One and in some scenes you are bolder…half of your body from the waist up is bare in your love scenes with Taylor Schilling. It’s quite a departure from your earlier roles.
“It was hard, man! I mean the change. It was a difficult change. But it’s everything that I’ve been looking for in a role. It was great playing a marine. He’s much more of a man than the ones I’ve done before. The film is based on a Nicholas Sparks best-seller and I love it. It’s romantic, it has a little bit of action. I’m very happy with it.”
More daring roles after that?
“Hopefully. You know, we have a phenomenal director (Scott Hicks) in the movie and that’s really what I was looking for. He has a cool sensibility. It’s the courageous filmmakers that I’m looking for. I’m very lucky to have found one.”
You look so beefed-up in the movie. How did you get that kind of body?
“Well, I trained with the Marines. These guys were taller than me, they’re all imposing and physically bigger, and it came from lots of training with weapons. So that’s what I did every single day — go through the kind of training that they had. I lifted a lot of weights. I went into a crash diet. Lots of protein and chicken.”
Any part of your body that needs improvement?
“Oh, my haircut.” (Touches his hair and laughs)
When you look back at High School Musical, what’s the best lesson that you learned from it?
“The best lesson? I think it’s simply just to be yourself. And have fun. And live life to the fullest every day.”
Do you practice it every day?
“I try to. Yes, I try hard to!”
What’s your most embarrassing moment so far?
(Blushes a bit and laughs) “I’m always messing up here and there.”
Hmmm, you were a bit careless recently.
“Yeah, I think I know what you’re talking about.” (During the red-carpet reception for the premiere Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, he accidentally dropped a condom when he dipped into his pocket.)
How did you feel about it?
“There’s nothing I can do about it now.” (In another interview, he said that he didn’t really have a “pocket-check” policy but he does now. That incident unwittingly made Zac an endorser of the safe-sex campaign.)
Away from work, how do you unwind?
“I do relax. Yesterday, I didn’t have much to do so I watched tennis. And then I saw a movie.”
How do you deal with the loss of privacy?
“Uhm, there’s not so much that you can do. I just try to shrug it off.”
Do you sometimes go out in disguise?
“I have done that and it didn’t work. In fact, it makes people even more suspicious and they look at you harder.”
How do you deal with gossip?
“I try not to read it…if I can avoid it.”
What do you like most about yourself, aside from the obvious?
“I think I never take myself too seriously.”
And anything that you don’t like about yourself?
“There’s a lot to like about myself. Can’t think of anything that I don’t like.”
Describe Zac Efron briefly.
“Young. Crazy. Funny.”
Article: The Philippine Star 'Bromance Of The Week: Derek Ramsay And Zac Efron'
A new friendship has hit showbiz: Derek Ramsay and Zac Efron. The two have been spotted playing golf in Sydney, with the former tweeting a picture of the two. Both celebrities are grabbing headlines these days, with Derek’s not-so-sudden move to TV5 to host Amazing Race Philippines and pictures of a naked Zac spreading online. According to Derek, the two met over Holy Week when Zac approached him, complimenting him on his golfing skills (not surprising) and saying he looks familiar (surprising). Rumor has it that Zac is soon visiting the Philippines to endorse Penshoppe, and it would only be too easy to imagine them meeting up and developing a lasting bromance, but whatever.