Zac Efron is brutally honest about himself. He admits when he first read the script for “The Lucky One,” a romantic drama based on another weepy Nicholas Sparks novel, he felt he wasn’t right for the lead.
“You couldn’t pick two more different people — Logan (the character) and myself,” the 24-year-old blue-eyed heartthrob says. “I was scared when I read the script because I really liked the character, but at the same time I knew I was completely wrong for it.”
But Efron, star of the popular “High School Musical” films, was game to transform himself — mentally and physically. He put on nearly 20 pounds for the role and built up his muscles to play a Marine returning home after a brutal tour of duty in Iraq. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he leaves his sister’s Colorado residence to walk to Louisiana to locate a young woman, whose photo he found during a firefight. He thinks of the beautiful mystery woman as something of a guardian angel since he found the photo just seconds before a bomb went off behind him, leaving him physically unscathed but emotionally wrecked, but he decides to keep the picture a secret.
Efron stars alongside Taylor Schilling, a blond beauty who previously co-starred in the Meryl Streep drama “Dark Matter.”
The photogenic co-stars turned up for a recent interview to talk about their new movie, directed by Scott Hicks (“Shine”) from an adapted screenplay by Will Fetters (who is penning the updated Clint Eastwood remake of “A Star is Born.”)
You’ve lost weight since you made this movie.
Zac Efron: I can’t train like that all the time. It was the hardest thing ever.
This role is a bit different for you. Are you stepping away from the teen idol thing to let people know you’re a serious actor?
Zac Efron: In a way. It was kind of a progression that I have been working on for a long time, and this (film) seemed to fit perfectly.