I'm not a gr8 dancer- I just pretend to be one in #Neighbors2. Thanks @jamizzi for being my dance sensei my whole life. We've come a long way since our Hairspray days and this scene is freakin WILD brother. Stoked for you all to see it. #bootyloose #fbf
Roundtable incl. Inquirer.net and news.com.au (teal bits):
Wearing a tee in this interview at the commissary of NBC Universal in LA, Zac, upon being teased that he looks different from his shirtless self on the “Baywatch” beach set in Georgia, joked back with a laugh, “Really? The spray tan is wearing off.”
We asked what remains one of his standout memories of his 2014 trip to the Philippines. “We ATV’ed down a volcano, and it was fun,” he gushed about driving an all-terrain vehicle on the slopes of Mayon Volcano. “It was great!” He also enjoyed a more “natural” ride—on a carabao sled, also in Legazpi, Albay.
Were you a fan of “Baywatch”? Did you have the hots for Pamela Anderson?
Everyone had the hots for Pamela Anderson (laughs). I was no different. I did not see that much of the original “Baywatch.” The only memories I had of it were blurs from seeing it on TV.
I’ve started downloading and watching online the most popular episodes based on fan votes (laughs). Our take on “Baywatch” is going to be very fun and different.
The characters are very different. But at its core, it’s still going to have that spirit, that sexy beach fun, tough attitude. We are lifeguards. We are the firemen of the sea. It’s pretty cool.
It’s the 10th anniversary of “High School Musical.” In what ways have you changed over the years?
I am 10 years older. I got 10 years of hard work, fun and life under my belt. I am growing up, taking one day at a time. I am learning to really pay attention to the present moment.
What do you remember most about the show?
I like all of it. That was an enormously fun whirlwind. It set the stage for having an open mind and being free. Kenny Ortega was a brilliant mentor.
For me, at that age, “High School Musical” represented love and being free to express who you are, regardless of what people think, and whether in music, art or something people consider to be nerdy or not cool, who gives a f***? Just be you. And that was very exciting. And we did it through song and dance. So, I look back on those days and cherish them. I remember that time as an enormous fun whirlwind. It set the stage for having an open mind and being free.
Would you like to do another musical?
I’d love it. I’m actively searching for one now, the key is finding another original musical. That was what was so special about “High School Musical.”
So, do you still sing?
In the shower.
What songs do you sing?
Everything. When I am working, I listen to music to get in the mood for stuff. I go by the week.
Now, I am listening to “Purple Rain” and Prince—it’s on repeat. And Drake’s album came out, so I am trying to memorize all those lyrics.
In “High School Musical,” your numbers are fully choreographed. How different was it when you had to dance in the tailgate party in “Neighbors …”?
That’s the funny thing about doing a dance movie. From that point forward, everybody thinks you can just dance on cue or that you are a great dancer. I don’t think I am a great dancer. I am a physical person so I learn things and over a period of time and I can pick up movements and learn skills relatively quickly. But that just comes down to co-ordination.
Two nights before that scene, I asked Nick (Nicholas Stoller), “What song am I dancing to?” He was like, “What song do you want to dance to?” I was like, “You mean you don’t have a plan for this?” He was like, “No, I am going to let you go.”
I was like, “Where, in front of the crowd? There was no plan?” And there was no plan (laughs).
So, I called a buddy of mine whom I worked with on “Hairspray,” Jamal [Sims]. He was an [associate] choreographer on “Hairspray.”
He dropped everything he was doing and flew from LA to Georgia to spend an hour with me. We just spent some time in front of a mirror doing a dance—and that is what we ultimately did.
Have there been situations when you said that in this scene, it’s not necessary to take off your shirt?
Even over the course of making “Baywatch,” there are scenes where you go, “Is it really necessary for my character to be shirtless here?”
So yeah, you have to pick those moments for your shirtless scenes, and if you are smart and if it’s planned correctly, you can do what Sly Stallone used to do, which is knock out all the shirtless scenes in the first two weeks, then shoot the rest of the movie (laughs).
But it doesn’t work out that way for me. Usually, it’s, "Zac. Shirt off!” (clicking his fingers) So, I don’t command that kind of power yet.
How often do you get scripts where obviously, they are dumb roles and will just exploit your good looks?
I run into that a lot. For years, I had a list in my manager’s office of roles that we famously said no to. To this day, that list is still up.
There are opportunities like this one in “Neighbors …” where you know that you are working with the right people and that you can find something deeper in a character that is written very simply. That is what Teddy turned into for me.
If I wanted to throw a party, would you be the guy to call to organize and make it a chilling success?
I would be terrible at it (laughs). Don’t call me to plan a party.
And if I were to give you a party, what elements should I make sure to be there to make the happening rock?
A great party would be low-key, have good food and music and awesome people to talk to.
Can you talk about the diet and workout that keeps you in great shape?
All of the food is cooked by a lovely lady who uses all-organic vegetables. She plans out very specific combinations of fat, carb and protein. [It] requires a lot of self-discipline. No question you have to change your lifestyle. There’s no choice but to become a boring person when you’re getting into that kind of shape, and it sucks. Not eating carbohydrates sucks. Hands down, it’s the worst part of all of it.
And the workout?
I train with a trainer usually before work, like four or five days a week. It varies. It depends on what my body feels like.
In working out, what’s your main goal?
Just to not get injured. I used to train by myself, on a lot of power movement and really heavy lifts and bodybuilding-type exercises. While I haven’t totally eliminated those movements, I know how to do them better now.
For form and technique, I spend as much time stretching and rolling out as I do training. Recovery is everything. I have to make sure that I get the right amount of food and sleep.
What is your buildup phase? How many calories do you eat a day?
I don’t have a buildup phase. I know it seems like I am bigger right now for “Baywatch,” but actually, I lost six or seven pounds, maybe more since “Neighbors.” So actually it’s been a trim down, if anything.
Excerpts from FilmInk Interview with Nick:
How do you channel your college years? You’re married, and you have two kids. What is the experience for you going back into something like this?
“It’s becoming increasingly more difficult because I’m getting farther away from that time in my life. My way in with this movie is really Seth and Rose and the issues that they’re going through. They’re scared that they’re going to be bad parents. That’s their story in the movie. They’re scared that their daughter is growing up too quickly and all that, which is all stuff that I’m dealing with right now. And the quarter-life crisis stuff that Zac’s going through, I feel like that was yesterday. With the girls, the story that we were telling was about arriving at school as a freshman with no friends and wanting to reinvent yourself. And that was something that I could really remember. With both the first movie and this movie, the emotional stories are pretty much gender neutral. It doesn’t matter. And that was something that I could remember. I hated high school, and when I got to college, it felt like, ‘Finally, my life is going to start!’ I didn’t have a sexist system telling me that I couldn’t party. But if I had, I would have tried to start my own thing.”
And Zac Efron? You’ve said that he is taking a while to grow into doing action roles, and it’s almost like he’s hiding something, like he’s hiding in comedy…
“I think that Baywatch is more of an action comedy, and that could be a bridge. Bad Neighbours 2 has a fair amount of action in it, and you’ll see his skills. I’ve seen it with a lot of actors. Especially action actors. Take Chris Pratt, for instance. He was very boyish, and I think that he needed to grow a little bit. You need to get to your early thirties, and audiences are like, ‘Oh, you can be an action hero now.’ There are just certain people like that. And I think people want their action heroes a little bit older and slightly more grizzled. I don’t know if that’s true. But I think that’s what’s going on with Zac. The minute that he decides that he wants to do action, he’ll be able to do it. He has the whole thing. I mean, he runs as intensely as Tom Cruise! But he has this vulnerability that makes him really funny and really awesome in comedies.”
Excerpts from Yahoo Interview with Nick
(worth clicking over for full article, though it isn't really about Zac):</b>
Director Nicholas Stoller first started thinking about evolving Pete’s sexuality in a future sequel while making the original Neighbors. He was particularly inspired by the climactic scene that found frat mastermind Teddy insisting that his bromantic sparring partner Pete flee the scene of a crime — a firework-ravaged party house — so that Teddy could take full responsibility. “I love you,” Pete wistfully tells Teddy before darting off.
“Clearly, we’re playing with the homoerotic tension there, and I was like, 'He should just be gay,’” Stoller told us last month during a visit to his Hollywood edit bay. “Then in this one, it came up again. [Co-writer] Evan Goldberg brought it up, and he said, 'I think he should be gay, and part of [his arc] should be the proposal.’ It was kind of all of us coming to the same conclusion.”
Despite the fact that the aforementioned homoerotic tension was mutual in Neighbors, Stoller said they never considered having Efron’s shirt-hating Abercrombie model Teddy be the character who comes out in Sorority Rising. As the title implies, the sequel pits the first movie’s married couple Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) against a wild new chapter of co-eds. “A lot of Zac’s motivations in the first movie, especially with his girlfriend and stuff, seemed pretty straight. It felt like it might seem like a stunt if we made him gay. But it seemed to just work with Dave.”
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