EVEN years may have passed, but he’s still the boy from Disney’s High School Musical, despite movies like 17 Again and The Paperboy. Zac Efron was in the news last week for celebrating his one year anniversary with mushy tweets and a picture with his designer-model girlfriend Sam Miro. His latest outing sees him trying to be Hollywood’s biggest DJ in We Are Your Friends, a music-themed feature (with EDM replacing pop tunes as the centre piece). With movies like Neighbors 2 (Seth Rogen) and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates in his kitty, the 27-year-old talks about relating with the character’s struggles in life and friendships.
What hooked you to the film?
Initially, it was my talk with Max (Joseph), the director. The story that Max wanted to tell was about best friends and a character who is trying to find himself. And it’s sort of about letting people go; setting yourself free and the courage that it takes.
That moment is key to most
people in their 20s…
Yes it is. Now more than ever, our generation faces it in a different way. Every person is unique, but our 20s are becoming so stressful and there are so many important choices to make and that’s also the time when you are discovering who you are. Max gets that and that’s what this movie is about. Whatever he did in life around that time he remembered, he cherished and made into a really compelling story. A lot of this is real for him.
How did you prepare for the film in terms of the music? Did you get a rig together?
Yeah, Cole is a DJ and I wanted to do that as best as I could, so I bought a couple of decks and immediately set them up in my house and I had a great mentor, his DJ name is Them Jeans — he’s awesome. He basically showed me how to transition songs, change bass, treble, BPM [beats per minute], how to work out USB and not use Serato [DJ software]. So no computers for us! It’s kind of like running blind.
It sounds like you really got into it….
It’s an incredible feeling. I’ve only done it a few times to be honest. I think it’s the same with anything, it’s that 10,000 hours thing — you need 10,000 hours to master anything. I’m at that point now where I can do it, but it requires all of my attention.
There’s a great scene where Cole is playing a summer festival. Where did you film that and what was that like, playing in front of all those people?
We actually threw a legit festival. We had several great artistes come out and play. It was in LA and we just needed it to be a real festival and I can’t remember the exact location, but we didn’t make anyone pay — we just invited everyone to a free music festival.
The movie is scheduled to