Zac Efron Interview For The Film Adaptation Of Nicholas Sparks’ ‘The Lucky One’
US Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive – a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know. Learning her name is Beth (Taylor Schilling) and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm. ‘The Lucky One’ hits cinemas April 20th in the US and May 4th in the UK. Adapted from the book of the same name by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Dear John), ‘The Lucky One’ stars Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Adam LeFevre, Sharon Morris, Joe Chrest, Riley Thomas Stewart, Courtney J. Clark, and Jillian Batherson.
I can imagine you trained pretty intensely both physically and mentally to play Logan?
Zac Efron: Yeah. I was very nervous when I first read the script for ‘The Lucky One,’ because I really liked Logan, I saw such integrity in him. I saw that this is a guy who does what’s right, regardless of how hard it may be. He takes the harder road a lot of the time, and he does what’s right. I really enjoyed that integrity that he had. There was a lot that comes with playing a Marine, a lot of preparation. I wanted to make sure that I was prepared, I had a lot of help, I was able to work with a lot of Marine’s. They showed me what’s what pretty quick (laughs).
What was the most striking aspect of talking to those Marines?
Zac Efron: I mean, at first I walked into a room full of Marines and they stand super-straight, there’s strikingly physical differences. A lot of them were my height and my build, but they looked like superheroes. In my eyes at least, I was looking at real life heroes. I’m a musical theater geek walking in there and I knew there was so much work to be done it was overwhelming at that point. I’m 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. I wanted to spend as much time around Marines and the troops as possible. So I was able to go to Camp Pendleton early on with Scott Hicks and sort of just hang out with them, see what it was like. There were striking differences between the way that they were and I was. So I was able to look at that early on and physically, there was a lot to be done. That was the hardest part about this was the physical transformation.
Can you tell us a little bit about Logan and the significance of the photo he finds?
Zac Efron: Logan is a Sergeant in the Marine corp. He’s in his third tour of duty and he’s been through it, you know? A lot of stuff has happened to him. He’s young, he’s only 24, but he’s been on the front lines. In just the act of finding the picture for the first time, it directly saved his life. He was in the right place at the right place when he found that photo. After that, he doesn’t really know where to put it, it just keeps coming back, it keeps resurfacing in places where it shouldn’t be. I’ve had stuff like that in my life….it keeps coming back to him. Every time it does come back to him, he seems to survive in situations where he shouldn’t be surviving. And many people around him aren’t so lucky, so it becomes his lucky photograph and his memento, his good luck charm.
When Logan gets back from his tour, he sets out on a new mission?
Zac Efron: Right. Ultimately he does indirectly owe her his life, and at the very least he needs to go and thank her. He has to do something, I think just to feel complete. It’s indescribable when you know your sort of destiny, and that you have to do something. Logan just knows deep down in his heart that his next mission is to find this girl and thank her.
I thought the chemistry between yourself and Taylor Schilling was great, what was the first meeting like between you two?
Zac Efron: It was weird, it was screen test I think. You kind of get thrown into it, you’re thrown into it and either you click or you don’t. I’m pretty sure you know right away, thankfully we clicked right away. It was instant. We were hitting our stride almost immediately. With Taylor Schilling, I found that I learnt a lot from her, which is always refreshing to….it’s a refreshing quality to see in your leading lady, it’s fun. She’s hilarious but she’s very focused when it comes to the work. I was blown away by her.
How was it working with the dog?
Zac Efron: We went through so much man, me and that dog, me and Rowdy (laughs). It was amazing because the first time I met him, I wasn’t even really allowed to engage him because the dog loses respect for you. So we went through this roller coaster relationship…. from me paying virtually no attention to him and sort of being interested, to then finally I was able to sort of engage him. We became like best friends….we had a great working relationship. The best actor on the set (laughs). Super super talented!
This movie will most likely have the onion effect on people, a few tears will be shed. Can you remember the last movie that made you cry?
Zac Efron: Dude, I really cried watching ‘Toy Story 3,’ like a lot (laughs). Remember when they were holding hands? They’re like my favourite guys in the world….when they confronted melting, that was a powerful moment for me (laughs). I was thinking, “What am I doing?” I hope no one sees me right now.” (Laughs).
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