Zac Efron rose to fame off the back of playing teen heartthrob Troy Bolton in Disney’s “High School Musical” franchise, but it wasn’t until recently that he developed an intense appreciation of both acting and film.
The 20-year-old star said he grew to care more about his craft while staring in “17 Again,” alongside former “Friends” actor Matthew Perry.
“It was hard to play someone that I couldn’t relate to in the slightest,” Efron told Teen Vogue about playing the teenage version of Mike O’Donnell, a man who gets to go back to his younger years to change his life.
Efron said he grew to appreciate what he does for a living thanks to the film’s director Burr Steers.
“The director taught me a lot about the art of acting, which I hadn’t been schooled in before,” Efron told the mag. “I’ve got a better understanding of what it means to be an actor now.”
While filming another new project, — “Me and Orson Welles,” which finds the blue-eyed boy playing a character called Richard Samuels, a teen who ends up being directed by a young Welles – Efron said he developed a real love for the cinema.
“I would never have, until now, called myself a movie buff,” he said. “But I’ve found so many films that I never knew existed.”
While his new projects may expose the poster boy to a wider audience, his successes will continue to fuel the paparazzi, who follow him on a regular basis. Efron said sometimes, though, he wishes he could be anonymous.
“You don’t realize until it’s gone,” he noted of the ability to just blend in. “But it is so important to feel normal.”
Still, Efron said there is no need to feel sorry for the star.
“I’m not going to complain,” he said. “But it’s something I’m learning to cope with.”