Zac Efron's lucky feeling
The Lucky One is the latest cinema rendering of Nicholas Spark’s almost-made-for-movie novels.
It is the first movie to see Zac Efron shake off his ‘High School Musical’ shackles. He plays US Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault who has defied the odds to survive three tours of action in Iraq. Logan puts it down to a ‘lucky charm’ found on the battlefield - a picture of unknown woman, who is played by Taylor Schilling.
For Efron, it took a great deal of research to be able to convincingly shed the high-school uniform and don war fatigues.
“First and foremost, I wanted to spend as much time around Marines and the troops as possible,” Efron told movie site Collider. “I was able to go to Camp Pendleton and just hang out with them, see what it was like. There were striking differences between the way they were and I was. I was able to look at that early on.
“In my eyes at least, I was looking at real life heroes. I’m a musical theatre geek walking in there, and I knew there was so much work to be done, it was overwhelming at that point.
“I was just like ‘how am I going to do this?’ But every time I get really scared like that, that’s a sign I’m on the right track.
“The hardest part about this was the physical transformation.”
In the movie, Logan develops a relationship with Beth (Schilling) after she stands up to her bully of a husband. The intimate loves scenes, however, were not the most embarrassing moments for the young actor.
Efron’s biggest challenge was to get the battle-scarred marines to open up on their experiences.
“It took a while but finally they opened up and saw that the more honest they were, the more they could give us - that’s what we cherished.
“We wanted so hard to be able to give an accurate portrayal. Watching them open up and blossom in front of our eyes and be able to tell these stories and recount, it was the most powerful moment.”
‘The Lucky One’ opens in cinemas across the UAE this Thursday.