Wednesday, Apr 24: Los Angeles & New York
Expanding in other cities starting May 3. See full list and theaters here:
AAP starts at 0:48
Zac mention at 5:11
Q: Was Zac Efron interested in NASCAR racing before filming At Any Price? —Megan P., Denver
A: “I was completely new to it,” says Efron, 25, whose character pursues a NASCAR career in the film (in theaters April 24). Despite his inexperience, Efron did his own driving. “They just put me in a car and said, ‘Go!’ At one point, I got up to 140 miles per hour. It was a rush!”
Online Extra: Which star did Zac Efron have a childhood crush on?
“I had a poster of Tyra Banks in my bedroom. She was the only girl I really had a crush on. Other than her, the rest of my posters were skateboards, BMX bikes, and Tony Hawk,” he says. Efron hasn’t met Banks yet, adding “I hope we get to hang out soon. [laughs] I haven’t gotten to meet her yet.”
Which triggered this response:
“I think he’s gonna be one of the big ones,” Quaid told The Hollywood Reporter of his on-screen son. “I think he’s a great actor. He’s got all the tools in his tool box.”
Adds director Bahrani, who cast Efron after witnessing the star’s “diabolical” laughter on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, “The reason you know he can do anything is he’s pushing himself to do things he doesn’t quite know how to do yet, and he’s proving he can do them.” (Worth noting: Efron may not laugh throughout the film’s 105 minutes, but his character does prove to have a “diabolical” streak, one could say.)
From ARCA Racing:
Some scenes of the movie were shot with Efron and co-star Dennis Quaid at Iowa Speedway in July, 2011, during an actual ARCA Racing Series race weekend.
The movie, which is expected to hit theaters across the nation in May, features some clips and scenes from the ARCA garage at Iowa Speedway.
ARCA President Ron Drager said he can't wait to see the film to get a feel for how much of the ARCA brand can be seen in the movie.
"The footage was shot at the track at Iowa Speedway," Drager said. "The production crew was in the garage area, they were on the track, they were all around our race. Zac Efron took part in driver introductions and the fans were screaming and yelling."
Former ARCA series champion Andy Hillenburg supplied the cars through his Fast Track Racing Enterprises. Throughout the shooting, Efron was in full ARCA Racing Series gear. Scenes were shot of him a getting in and out of the race car and he visited with some ARCA officials and fans in the garage area.
From Huffington Post:
Efron briefly chatted with HuffPost Celebrity on the red carpet, admitting he doesn't know how he became an "indie darling."
"I don't know," he told reporters of what inspired him to make a commitment to films outside of mainstream production. "I’ve been doing a lot of interviews with Dennis [Quaid] and his words of wisdom are sort of just fresh in my mind. Dennis says the only role he sort of had for himself in this career is to do as many different types of movies as possible and never stop stretching or trying something new, particularly roles that challenge you. And working with great directors," he added, "That’s really all I want to do."
HuffPost caught up with Quaid at the screening as well, who coincidentally echoed Efron's sentiments: "The only strategy I've ever had is to play as many different types of roles as possible."
He also had some kind things to say about Efron, who stars as his son in "At Any Price."
"He’s such a great actor. He’s such a down-to-earth guy and he’s really got all the tools in the toolbox," Quaid said of his co-star. "He dedicated himself [to this film] and I think he made me better."
As for what Efron will do next, the Hollywood heartthrob says he's simply looking to take on characters he connects with.
"It kind of just falls into place and you know it. It’s what you want to do," he told HuffPost. "I’m doing a movie called 'Townies' right now where I play the president of a fraternity and that’s totally opposite of this character."
There's no doubt Efron will make it far in his career, considering he's already had a huge impact on all the directors, writers and actors he's worked with.
"Zac is just really together. I’m so amazed by how smart and hard working he is," co-star Heather Graham added of Efron. "And he has the craziest fans of any actor I’ve ever worked with ... like they’re screaming and waiting outside the set for hours. We ate at a restaurant and when we came out there were 30 teenage girls waiting outside screaming at the top of their lungs. It’s like the Beatles!"
Zac Efron had jitters shooting a sex scene with Heather Graham in their film, “At Any Price.” “I’ve been a fan of Heather’s and had a crush on her since I can remember,” Efron sheepishly said at a Cinema Society and Bally-sponsored screening. “She’s always been the epitome of that perfect girl. I wanted to get it right.” Graham added, “Zac and [director Ramin Bahrani] were like, ‘We’ve never done a sex scene before . . . We’re kind of nervous.’ I thought it was so funny. I was suddenly this expert.”
From LA Times:
Though the story is set in Iowa, much of the film was actually shot around DeKalb, Ill. The film was a modest production by Hollywood standards: on the main farm location, Efron and Quaid would take shelter in the air conditioning of Quaid's SUV (there were no trailers on the set) to get away from the sweltering summer heat.
Efron, the former "High School Musical" star still in transition to mature roles, was well aware of what he was bringing to his part. Bahrani suggested he watch Paul Newman's brooding turn in "Hud," a film with which the young actor was already familiar. Sitting side by side, Quaid and Efron have a relaxed, easy dynamic between them, which makes their on-screen tension that much more striking.
"It was funny for me, because I love hanging out with him and was kind of chasing him around, wanting to pick his brain about stuff," added Efron of working with Quaid. "And then as soon as we got out to film I had to push him away."
From an interview with Ramin in the NY Times:
Q. What did your stars know about your work beforehand?
A. I spent time with Dennis in Austin. He said, “I want to be like that kid in ‘Chop Shop,’ when he closes the garage door and locks it with a screwdriver, just that mechanical action.” He said, “Can you make me like that?” I couldn’t believe it — I never expected a movie star to say things like this. So the next day I had enough courage to say, “Dennis, would you do no hair and makeup?” And he said of course. I mentioned it to Zac, and he said, “I don’t care about that kind of stuff.”
Q. Arguably Zac doesn’t need to care about that kind of stuff.
A. [Laughs.] It’s true — he’s really photogenic and handsome. But I think his performance is phenomenally good. He’s a gifted actor and I really think he should be playing complex roles like this.
Q. Did you have any preconceived notions about him going into it?
A. Zac and I spoke about how I want to do something new. I told him people will probably judge me unfairly, based on my previous films, on what I can and can’t do, and what they think I should be doing. I don’t want to do what people think I should be doing; I want to do what I want to do. And he said, “Me too.”