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Zac Efron Talks Troy

Teenage superstar on his musical roles

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<p>Zac Efron smiles for <i>High School Musical 2</i> fans. (Photo: Courtesy of Disney Channel)</p>

Zac Efron smiles for High School Musical 2 fans. (Photo: Courtesy of Disney Channel)

Zac Efron has had quite a musical summer! First he appeared in musical hit Hairspray as Link Larkin, and now he returns to the role that made him famous: basketball heartthrob Troy Bolton in High School Musical 2. Zac gave the inside info on playing these singing sensations to Scholastic News Online.

Q: You’ve starred in two of this year’s biggest hits—Hairspray and High School Musical 2—which character do you relate to more, Link or Troy?
Zac: Well, I was never the coolest kid around, but as far as personality goes I’m more of a Troy. Link is slightly egotistic, but he comes around and does great. Link is a little bit of a follower at the beginning of the story but he snaps out of it and comes around.

Q: What about your own high school experience—did you go to regular school?
Zac: I went to real school for most of my high school. I left middle of my junior year and enrolled in junior college courses—that’s how I graduated.

Q: What was your favorite subject?
Zac: My favorite subject was English. I felt like that class taught me more than anything else, and I still use it every day. One of the early books I read in high school was Frankenstein. I remember not being excited to read after school, but when I started that book I didn’t set it down. That was the first time I really got wrapped up in a story. I value that. And it really kept me going, all through the rest of the novels I read in school.

Q: What scenes were most fun for you in High School Musical 2?
Zac: I had a lot of fun days on the golf course. I had a few romantic scenes between Troy and Gabriella on the golf course. I did not fake kissing!

Q: What do you like from craft service table on the set?
Zac: That’s how I survive! I eat everything, whatever they have. Nuts, chips, fruit. And there’s fresh Krispy Kremes every day.

Q: What's been your most memorable encounter that you've had with a fan of High School Musical?
Zac: There was a girl from the Ronald McDonald Foundation, I guess, came up and she was just very, very sweet. It's very flattering because these girls really do know the project and they seem genuinely excited. So I'm very glad that we're opening up an outlet for younger kids to explore music. Hopefully in the future it won't be such a bad thing to be part of the drama club at your high school. In my ideal world I'd love to see everyone going out and auditioning for plays and doing musical theater and singing. It's something that I had a blast doing when I was young and I'm just glad that I can give it to a few more kids.

Q: What about future participation in High School Musical movies?
Zac: All I can say is that High School Musical has been a blast from day one and that's why I'm here.

Q: Do you have any favorite musicals?
Zac: Sure. One of my favorite musicals is actually a movie musical, Singing In The Rain. I just watched Footloose last night and now that’s one of my favorites too. I love so many of them and I've been a part of so many great musicals. It's a crazy part of my life that I love.

Q: It’s been reported that you are going to be in a remake of Footloose. How is your Footloose going to be better?
Zac: I don't know if we can make it better. I'd like to think that we can do it, though. I know we're going to make something a little bit different. Kevin Bacon, who plays the lead, is such a talented guy. I can really relate to his character in the movie. Much like Kevin’s character in the movie, I was always singing songs in my head when I was growing up. I thought I had a soundtrack to my life that played every time I walked when I was in elementary school and high school. I'd always be listening to songs and bopping around. And I love dancing.

Q: Ever get teased in high school for doing theater?
Zac: I was not a drama kid in high school. Most of my theater was in different various levels of professional community theater, if there is such a thing around the area where I lived. I didn't act in high school. Looking back, though, makes me think that maybe I should have.

Q: What important things should kids know about succeeding in school or in life? Do you have any advice or a motto?
Zac: Stay true to yourself. A lot of people might tell you what to do or steer you away from your goals, so stay true to your goals, stay happy, and stay healthy—exercise!

—Interview by Gerri Miller

High School Musical is Back!

Troy, Gabrielle, and the gang are back for High School Musical 2. Check out our special report to read more interviews with thecast!

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