There are few things I love more than a good profile story, and fortunately Details magazine provides quite a few to meet my quota. The most recent to come under their dissecting eye is "Charlie St. Cloud" star Zac Efron, who was unfortunately suffering a terrible case of poison oak at the time of the interview (in their words, it reached all the way to his "much-squealed-over teen-idol dick").
The article is entitled "The Agony of Zac Efron," and details the tough life it is to be one of the nicest actors in Hollywood. What's nice about the story is that it really gives a sense of Zac as person, instead of as the pretty boy girls like to swoon over or the baby-faced Disney star that guys love to hate.
But fortunately, the article does more than just show people the true side of Zac. Writer Andrew Goldman probed on some pretty touchy subjects, such as Zac not joining the "Footloose" remake. Turns out everyone had been behind the project: Paramount, "High School Musical" director Kenny Ortega, Zac's manager Jason Barrett... everyone except Zac.
"All the things I loved about 'Footloose' I couldn't find in the project," he said. "They just weren't there. I couldn't see myself doing it." He said that calling Kenny to tell him that he was going to pass on "Footloose" was "literally the hardest phone call I've ever made."
Then there's the whole subject of his relationship with Vanessa Hudgens, which thanks his courage being bolstered by three quarters of a bottle of a nice red wine, Andrew was willing to ask if it was just a business coupling orchestrated by Disney to cover up Zac's alleged homosexuality (though Andrew writes that "nothing about Efron merits even flipping on the gaydar").
"That's just fucking insane," Zac said. "I've never even heard of that happening. I don't even know who I would have been around who would have thought that was even a good idea. ... Right now [the gossip industry knows] exactly what's going on and it's not very interesting and there's no money to be made on it. It's exactly how it should be. It's real."
Arguably the most interesting part of the article comes when it talks about Zac's relationship with other Hollywood celebrities. He's not "cool" like Shia LaBeouf, who is compared to Hollywood bad boy Sean Penn. Zac has to work for his image and skills, and Andrew compares him to "jock" Tom Cruise.
Apparently Tom was the only celebrity to really reach out to Zac and help him feel at home in Hollywood. Tom introduced himself to Zac one day and asked him if he rode motorcycles. When Zac said he didn't, Tom invited him over to his home to learn how.
"I don't know," Zac told Andrew when he asked if he knew why Tom invited him. "I don't even want to know. It's just so cool that he gave a shit, the fact that he cared at all. No one else did that."
Toward the end of the interview, Andrew was shown a glimpse of what Zac goes through on a day. Random publicists came up and brought him to various events going on in the building they were in, introduced him to people he didn't know, and agents of celebrities — in this case, director Bryan Singer — just want to "catch [him] on the way out."
I love the last line of the story, after Andrew writes that when Zac ends up leaving, exhausted, to go home and nurse his poison oak, he does not go upstairs to say goodbye to Bryan Singer. "Even the nicest guy in town has his limits," Andrew writes, and now I for one can kind of see why.
Did you think the Details profile story offered a good look at Zac Efron? Do you now have a different opinion of him than before?