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Sep 11th
02:23 am
Interview with The Advocate  
Interview with The Advocate:

It’s good to see you return to your dancing roots with Nicole Kidman in the trailer for The Paperboy, but your moves seem to have gotten wetter and more naked.
Believe it or not, that dance in the rain wasn’t planned. Nicole’s fun to work with because she’s very improvisational. She just started dancing with me, and we went with the moment.

Surely you knew that scene would attract some prurient attention.
With a scene like that, you just have to stick with it and see where it takes you. After the fact, though, I remember thinking, Oh, jeez, what did I just get myself into?

Matthew McConaughey, your Paperboy costar, helped design his thong for Magic Mike. Did you help select your white briefs?
I did, yeah. It’s a period movie, so there weren’t really a lot of choices. Initially, I wondered if my character would even wear underwear at all. But that would’ve been a very different movie.

You’ve worked with other gay directors, including Adam Shankman on Hairspray, but Lee Daniels has often spoken about how much his “gay sensibility” translates to his work. In fact, at a press conference for The Paperboy in Cannes earlier this year, Lee even made light of a connection between his being his gay and your being somewhat eroticized on-screen. Did you have any reservations or did you embrace Lee’s sensibility from the start?
I’ve always just embraced Lee as a brilliant artist, so I followed him blindly, trustingly, and wholeheartedly. He’s searching for beauty and truth in every scene, so I believed in him and always felt safe. I was a fan of Lee’s work — I thought Precious was so marvelous and real — and I knew that he had a lot to teach me. All he required of me was that I be fearless, and that’s something I’m really working on right now in my career.

Screen grabs of you in wet undies made quite an impression in the gay blogosphere, but your presence on gay blogs is certainly nothing new.
It’s very flattering. After High School Musical and Hairspray, I’ve always felt embraced by the gay community, and I feel incredibly grateful and honored. This is actually a very special interview for me. I’m extremely aware of the support I’ve gotten from you guys over the years, and it’s amazing that it’s taken this long to sit down and actually discuss it, but please know that it hasn’t gone unappreciated. I’m so excited to be talking to you.

When did gay fans first come to your attention?
I really felt that support after High School Musical. I think the gay audience related to my character Troy, because it really was a story of embracing who you are, no matter how different you might be, and not being afraid to show it. That’s a universal theme for everyone, but it specifically resonated with the gay community, and I felt very proud of that.

Do you remember your first interaction with gay people?
I started doing local theater so young — I was 12 — so to me, being gay was just another way that you can be. I never really had time to think about it or have any preconceived notions. I don’t judge anyone and I never have.

You’ve said in the past that the older college kids who performed with your local theater were your first role models.
Absolutely. I might’ve been less aware of it back then, but without question I had gay role models.

After your involvement in last year’s Footloose remake fell through, fans worried that you might be done with musicals for good. Do you see more musical theater in your future?
Without a doubt, I’d love to do Broadway. I actually can’t wait to get back to musical theater. There’s a part of me that wishes I could go do it right now, but there’s also a part of me that knows I need to tackle other types of acting opportunities first. I want to be a well-rounded, versatile performer. Until I master other things, it would be hard for me to get back to musical theater. But that will always be my home base and where I feel the most free, and it’s something I will definitely do again, even it it’s just for pleasure and personal fulfillment.

The Paperboy also marks McConaughey’s first gay role. Are you interested in tackling a gay character? I’d never take a role just for the sake of playing gay, but I’m always looking for a role that’s challenging, different, and entails some risk, so there’s no doubt in my mind that one of those characters will be gay at some point in the future. It’s always interesting to delve into unexplored territory, and that would be a new avenue for me. I definitely wouldn’t be afraid.

In a 2008 Details profile, the writer brought up the subject of gay rumors, particularly as they related to blogger Perez Hilton’s online speculation about you. You replied, “Honestly, if the worst he can say about me is that I'm gay, then I think I'll be fine. I can handle it.” That was a pretty cool and classy response.
Thank you. I don’t like to live in fear about things like rumors and backlash to begin with — that’s the way I was raised — but I just can’t see what’s so wrong about being gay.

Last year a number of blogs posted a picture of you wearing a FCKH8 T-shirt that read, “Some Dudes Marry Dudes. Get Over It.” Unfortunately, it was soon revealed to be Photoshopped.
Yeah, that picture was fake, but a couple days after it went around, a fan sent me a shirt identical to the one in the picture. So now I do own that shirt.

Have you worn it?
I’m sure I have and I’m sure I will. It’s still hanging up somewhere.

So what are your thoughts on marriage equality — and dudes marrying dudes?
It’s an issue that affects so many people in my life — a lot of my close friends and some of the most influential people around me. I just want them all to be happy. It would make me so happy to see them able to live their lives and do what they want to do.

The word on the street is that you throw a mean party. Do gay friends make the exclusive guest list?
[Laughs] You’re on for the next one. 

25 25 comments Comment
 
 
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on September 11th, 2012 12:28 am (UTC)
Just reaffirmed how sweet Zac is basically
A Sea of Dust and Starsfun_demented on September 11th, 2012 12:35 am (UTC)
Fantastic article. Thank you.
countessm3countessm3 on September 11th, 2012 12:38 am (UTC)
Finally, a nod to the boys, lol. He is the gay universal, so he should be flattered. Bears and twinks generally do not share the same taste.

*****I’d never take a role just for the sake of playing gay, but I’m always looking for a role that’s challenging, different, and entails some risk, so there’s no doubt in my mind that one of those characters will be gay at some point in the future. It’s always interesting to delve into unexplored territory, and that would be a new avenue for me. I definitely wouldn’t be afraid.******

I'm so glad he answered this question. For awhile I've wanted to ask him if he would consider playing a gay or bisexual character, but it's not like he lives down the street and I could go knock on his door. So, there is hope he'd find the character of Jake interesting enough to puruse. That's enough for me right now.
lilly4848lilly4848 on September 11th, 2012 04:12 am (UTC)
You could always move. Maybe he would be part of the "welcome to the neighborhood" committee and he'd bring you cookies. ;-)
countessm3countessm3 on September 11th, 2012 09:26 am (UTC)
I could write 5 comical scenes off that premise, but all of them end with Zac running away as I chase him down the street. (-;

His pants would probably fall down as he never wears a belt. (-:
abigail80831abigail80831 on September 11th, 2012 01:33 am (UTC)
What a great article. He always seems to have the most mature and thought out answers.
kleth on September 11th, 2012 03:21 am (UTC)
I smell a new publicist building interest in The Paperboy. They probably worked out the responses in advance, using test questions. And he's had about six years to think about this stuff.
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on September 11th, 2012 01:47 am (UTC)
If anyone knows anyone who lives in Canada and would like to ask them to download these Zac interviews and put them on youtube, that would be greatly appreciated.

But forreal tho, there's 2 interviews here http://www.globaltv.com/etcanada/video/index.html#etcanada/video but only people in Canada can see them
juju81juju81 on September 11th, 2012 02:11 am (UTC)
I would do it, but I don't know how
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on September 11th, 2012 02:39 am (UTC)
I can message you how if you want
juju81juju81 on September 11th, 2012 02:55 am (UTC)
I could try but I suck at this
Sapphirasapphia on September 11th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
please, I also ask you to, try ...
Sapphirasapphia on September 12th, 2012 03:29 am (UTC)
Thank you!
abigail80831abigail80831 on September 11th, 2012 05:04 am (UTC)
being 100% honest, I'm amazed someone hasn't asked him these type of questions before this.
kleth on September 11th, 2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
They have asked these questions, some of them, one here and one there. The impact here results from all the questions and answers being concentrated into one session.
sillycece: zacLIGHTScatherish312 on September 11th, 2012 06:28 am (UTC)
awesome interview. really looking forward to more new adventures with zac, and i'd definitely be there the first day to see him on Broadway! and wait hours at the stage door just to get a picture and say hi... omg that would be awesome. :)
kleth on September 11th, 2012 02:01 pm (UTC)
In the abstract, I hope he gets everything he wants. But from my own selfish perspective, I hope he never does Broadway. It takes him away from movie-making. His desire is just self-indulgent. A part on Broadway might give him some insider credit among actor colleagues, but it would do little for his overall image as a movie star. A live play is seen by thousands, even a flop movie is seen by millions. He left the stage ten years ago. Without TV and movies we would never have known about him. Stick to the script, Zac, and make some more movies. A movie is forever; a play is gone with tomorrow's sunrise.
honeylullabyhoneylullaby on September 11th, 2012 04:08 pm (UTC)
I think it could be great for him acting wise, more experience is never a bad thing. And it takes him away for what six month ? Some actors on tv show perform in broadway, without schedule problem.

But I don't think it's going to happen on his close future
sillycece: zacLIGHTScatherish312 on September 11th, 2012 05:10 pm (UTC)
i disagree. tons of actors these days do a broadway stint without taking away from their movie careers. it would only take him away for a few months at the most, and it would give him a lot of good experience because it is often the most difficult thing an actor can do. there is no second take in a live show, so i think the practice could give him tactics to be a better film actor. plays are where he got his acting start, so they deserve some credit.
kleth on September 11th, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
"there is no second take in a live show"

Actually there is. It's called tomorrow. Doing a play means playing the same character, the same scenes over and over again. Sure, that's experience. But I would rather he gain experience playing a wide variety of roles with different directors and co-stars. That's even better experience.

Plus, bottom line, most of his fans would never get to see him in a play. He'd be having a lot of fun, but what about the rest of us?
kleth on September 11th, 2012 07:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, but I should have added: Of course, if he's going to go a year between movies, he might as well do a play while he's "resting".
zacefronfan26 on September 11th, 2012 08:36 am (UTC)
This Interview just show how sweet he is Just another reason I'm glad to be a Fan.
kleth on September 11th, 2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
"Initially, I wondered if my character would even wear underwear at all. But that would’ve been a very different movie."

But if you made that movie, we'd all go to see it.
It's Audrey not Aubreyaudrey_za on September 13th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that picture was fake, but a couple days after it went around, a fan sent me a shirt identical to the one in the picture.

Fess up, which one of y'all sent him the shirt?