He's the biggest teen star on the planet and for the last two weeks he's been driving girls crazy - on the Isle of Man.
Zac Efron, 20, the heart-throb from two smash hit High School Music films, has been filming a new movie in Douglas, capital of the old fashioned holiday island.
When news got out that he was there he was mobbed wherever he went, so now he has a 24-hour police guard on standby to protect him.
Hundreds of screaming girls flocked to the Gaiety Theatre in Douglas, where Zac is filming Me And Orson Welles, to catch a glimpse.
There were two incidents where police had to escort Zac, whose girlfriend is HSM co-star Vanessa Anne Hudgens, back to his hotel room. When he went out for dinner at Copperfields restaurant he had to be taken out by guards because the crowd outside got too big.
The young actor has been spending most evenings in his suite at the four-star Sefton Hotel, where most of the cast, including co-star Claire Danes, are staying.
In the mornings he heads straight to the recently restored Gaiety, which is doubling for the Mercury Theatre of 1930s New York. Today 570 locals get a chance to work with him as extras playing the theatre audience.
Zac became a global star two years ago when High School Musical was first shown on The Disney Channel and quickly became a massive success all over the world.
His character, Troy, is captain of the basketball team who ends up performing alongside maths geek Gabriella, played by Vanessa, in their school play.
HSM3: Senior Year will start filming shortly for release in October and a stage version of the movie is currently on tour in the UK.
Rumor (but would you blame him?): Zac Efron's on set tent, 3/9/08
Zac Efron demanded a private tent on the set of his new movie to hide from female fans.
The 'High School Musical' star, who is currently filming 'Seventeen Again' in Los Angeles, was so terrified of being mobbed during a scene on location at a high school he asked bosses for somewhere he could escape to.
A source said: "Zac was petrified about being surrounded by students while shooting at a Los Angeles school, so he had producers erect a tent he could duck into every time the school bell rang.
"The pitter-patter of teenage feet scared him so much he asked for a bell schedule so he could zoom into the tent before class finished."
Zac, who is starring alongside former 'Friends' actor Matthew Perry in the movie, encounters hysterical female admirers everywhere he goes.
The source added: "Matthew was mobbed by pretty fans at an LA burger joint, but they all switched their attention to Zac when he came in."
Parallels: George Clooney Responds to Gay Rumors with Grace, 3/8/08
Celebrities these days understand that being mistaken for gay is nothing to be ashamed of, or to get all huffy and puffy about. First we had Zac Efron talk to Details Magazine about the gossip rags calling him "gay", and now we have George Clooney not being offended about similar rumors.
In a new interview with Esquire Magazine, Clooney talks about being called gay.
Esquire mentions a specific gossip website that says Clooney is "gay, gay, gay", and with grace Clooney responds: "Yes, I'm gay, gay. The third gay- that was pushing it."
Kudos, Clooney. You're a venerable heart throb, multi-winner of People's sexiest man alive, and you have a great sense of humor combined with respect for the LGBT. We're lovin' it!
Jake Thomas wants to be the next Zac Efron (as if), 3/7/08
The Knoxville native, whose credits include a starring role in Steven Spielberg’s “A.I.” and Disney Channel’s “Cory in the House,” is vying for a lead role in “High School Musical 3.”
“Yesterday was a first for me,” he tells the Insider. “It was the first time I had to sing for an audition. It was an interesting challenge for me, but I think I was up for it.”
Thomas performed for casting agents looking to fill the lead role of “HSM3,” which will be the swan song for the current “HSM” cast, but not the end of the “HSM” franchise. More “HSM” movies are on the drawing boards, but the ones beyond this third one will be done without Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and the rest of the current stars.
In “HSM3,” the current cast is graduating high school. However, a new cast of characters will be introduced to carry on the song-and-dance routines for future movies.
“This is their last hurrah,” Thomas says.
Thomas is auditioning for the lead male role, a part that would, essentially, fill the void when Efron’s character is gone from movies beyond “HSM3.”
“The character I am auditioning for would take over Zac Efron’s (function). He would be the new star basketball player at the school,” he says.
Thomas fancies himself a singer but not much of a dancer.
He’s also not much of a fan of “HSM” or any other musical for that matter. “I’m not one who gives into hype,” he says with a laugh when asked if he was a fan of the previous “HSM” movies.
However, “I did watch ‘Sweeney Todd,’ and I liked it a lot,” he says.
Thomas’ own high-school days are over. He recently earned his high school diploma and is living in Los Angeles, complete with his own place to live.
His next project is the TV western movie “Aces N’ Eights,” airing later this month on the ION network (the channel formerly known as Pax). He co-stars in it with Ernest Borgnine.
Thomas, who was a student at Farragut High School last school year, still considers Knoxville home. He now is going to college part time.
MAOW Cast Update - James Tupper as Joseph Cotten, 3/5/08
"Men in Trees" star James Tupper will portray actor Joseph Cotten in "Me and Orson Welles," an indie biopic from director Richard Linklater.
The project, which is now shooting, stars "High School Musical" heartthrob Zac Efron as a teen who is cast opposite Cotten in Welles' 1937 Broadway staging of "Julius Caesar." English actor Christian McKay plays Welles.
Cotten's career was launched with roles in Welles' classic "Citizen Kane" and "The Magnificent Ambersons." He starred in several Alfred Hitchcock films and memorably tangled with Welles in the 1949 thriller "The Third Man."
Turner gets television rights for 17 Again, 3/4/08
Turner Broadcasting's TBS and TNT are trying to corner the market on theatrical prebuys, locking up the cable-TV rights to four high-visibility movies set for release by New Line and Picturehouse later this year: "The Women," "Journey to the Center of the Earth," the Zac Efron vehicle "17 Again" and the Vince Vaughn-Reese Witherspoon comedy "Four Christmases"... Turner gets the first of the New Line movies, "Journey to the Center of the Earth," in February 2011, and the three other titles will premiere over the next five months.
Vanessa wants no part of the Lohan mess (neither do we), 3/4/08
Zac Efron and sweetheart Vanessa Hudgens has enjoyed huge success with the High School Musical film series. Zac and Vanessa have moved up the ladder from virtual unknown actors and singers to a couple that is now known by one name, Zanessa, and both are now worldwide stars that command millions of dollars per picture.
But she may not want to share all of that with Lindsay Lohan's little sister Ali. According to a report from this week's Star Magazine, Vanessa has said to have asked to have Ali nixed from the series. Ali recently stated that she desperately wants to be a star and she reportedly was set for an audition.
The item from Star has this, "But the 19-year-old star fears the goodwill on the set may be lost with the hiring of a new castmate – 14-year-old Ali Lohan!" "When Vanessa heard that Ali was vying for a part in HSM3, she flipped,” says a source.
“She knows Ali isn’t Lindsay, but she’s still weary of the drama the Lohan clan brings." The insider claims that Vanessa said she doesn’t want to mess with the chemistry on the set.