Zac Efron Interview For ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’
The 3D-CGI feature ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ is an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. Danny DeVito will lend his vocal talents to the iconic title character of the Lorax, while Ed Helms will voice the enigmatic Once-ler. Also bringing their talents to the film are global superstars Zac Efron as Ted, the idealistic young boy who searches for the Lorax, and Taylor Swift as Audrey, the girl of Ted’s dreams. Rob Riggle will play financial king O’Hare, and beloved actress Betty White will portray Ted’s wise Grammy Norma. The film is set for release March 2nd in the US and July 27th in the UK.
The visuals are stunning and so detailed. What was it like for you seeing the final product for the first time?
Zac Efron: That was amazing. Dr. Seuss’ world is so whimsical, I was amazed how well the movie captured that. Everything from the trees, the forest, the animals, all the different technology you see – it was all so Dr Seuss, there’s no other way to put it. It’s a beautiful film to look at. The message as well, The Lorax was a book that when I read it at a young age, it planted that first seed of the environmentalist in me. The Lorax’s message about the environment, it’s one of the reasons I feel the way I do today. Another thing to take away from this movie is that it can take one person to change the world, even as a kid you can feel powerless, but all it takes is a little bit of hard work and you’d be amazed at what you can accomplish – I really liked that. That’s what Dr. Seuss was trying to teach us all as kids and now we’re spreading the word.
The first time he’s trying to leave the town via the air duct or whatever it is, it was like taking me to a whole other world. It looked incredible in the 3D and I thought, “This should totally be a ride at Disneyland.” It was so neat and it was really fun. The only bad part of doing that is we had to record, literally there were entire sessions where I just go, “Whoa! Awww! Hey! Look Out!,” for hours. They would leave it on, keep it recording and I would just do every single guttural sound imaginable (laughs).
What did you think about your animated character? At what point did you see it in the production process?
Zac Efron: Early on I saw just a rough picture, it wasn’t even computer animated yet. I had just seen sort of like a hand-drawn version. I really liked it, I thought it was cool. He seemed like your regular, spontaneous, too smart for his own good, young guy.
What is your own personal background with the work of Dr. Seuss?
Zac Efron: I was raised on Dr. Seuss, my parents read his books to me. I’m pretty sure I learnt how to read via his pros. I got interested in art very young as well, I was definitely inspired by his drawings and artwork. He was definitely a figure in my childhood, an important figure. And The Lorax in particular, I clearly remember being read that book by my parents, I vividly remember flipping through the pages. It’s frozen in my mind – I can see them all. I still have them in what used to be my room, it’s been turned into a spare room at my house. I’ve been kicked out, my little brother took over my room (laugh).
Having that connection to the story and Dr. Seuss, what was it like being offered this part and undertaking this role?
Zac Efron: It was one that really meant something to me. It wasn’t just a made up character, this is a book I had a personal connection to. It just felt right, sometimes the universe does those things, sends something back your way (laughs). This film really felt like that for me. I felt very lucky to be a part of this film. In the movie, Ted’s young, he’s spontaneous – I know what it’s like to be a kind of young, ambitious, crazy kid. It was definitely fun to go back there and re-live those moments through Ted. It was fun. There is definitely something for everybody in this movie. I actually can’t wait for people to see these characters brought to life. This once in a life time epic journey to save the planet, it’s a fun journey.
How was recording your first animated character?
Zac Efron: I was nervous the first time. I was a bit self-conscious just because there is a camera on you and the microphone is so close. As with anything, you’ve just got to let go. You’ve just got to let go and don’t be afraid to be crazy. Danny DeVito was the one, I actually looked up a clip of Danny working on a previous project and saw how he was doing it. He’s a wild man in there, he’s a wild man! So the next time I went in there I said, “Screw it!” I went as crazy as possible and took it to the next level. It was fun.
You did all the recording individually, but how was it when you came together with the cast?
Zac Efron: It was great, everyone was very cool. I’m a huge fan of Ed Helms’. The first time we all got together was actually to do a little bit of press. When we all finally came together it was all so neat to see them not animated, and to see them in real life.
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