Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Zac Efron on on Being a Teen Heart-Throb: “I Know It Won’t Last Forever”


So: Zac Efron. At Sony Pictures Classics’ annual filmmakers dinner on Saturday night in Toronto, Zac Efron was the guy everyone wanted to meet. Of course, outside the Creme Brasserie restaurant on Cumberland Avenue, in a little alley, dozens and dozens of women, seemingly of all ages, crowded ten deep to get a glimpse of the former “High School Musical” star. Sitting on the inside of the barricades looking out, the whole thing looked like Beatlemania. (We were in a rain proof tent that is usually the restaurant’s outdoor dining area.)

Inside, Efron was a cool as a cucumber. He’s very nice, actually. And unfazed by all the attention. At first he said, “Maybe I should go out and sign a few things.” Before he could finish the sentence, everyone around us said “No” in unison. That seemed like a very bad idea, one that would cause an injury. Meantime, the ladies were shouting, waving, flashing cameras.

At one point, he took a call on his cell phone and walked into proximity of his rabid fans. I think he was milking it a little bit, but Zac said: “I couldn’t hear anything in there,” meaning the restaurant.

How does he process all of this, I asked him? “I know it’s not going to last forever,” he said quietly. “So I’m very grateful.”

He’s 24, and now he stars with Dennis Quaid in “At Any Price.” Remember when Dennis Quaid was the hot young guy from “The Big Easy”? Now he’s very happy just to watch all this unfold. Both he and Pierce Brosnan were eating in the back. They’ve seen it all.

So Zac lives by himself in the Hollywood Hills. He bought a house “but it’s not big enough for all the family and friends who come to visit,” he said. He is thinking of getting roommates because it is a little lonely. He’s talking to a couple of friends about it.

Had he seen his ex-girlfriend and “HSM” co-star Vanessa Hudgens in “Springbreakers” yet, I asked?

“I’ve heard about it,” he said, vaguely. And then he was gone, whisked out back by security. The girls outside in the front wouldn’t believe it. They were still hanging around, hoping in vain for something, anything.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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