Zac Efron has certainly come a long way from his High School Musical days. He’s gone from singing pop songs while dancing with a basketball in a high school gym to acting (in his underwear) alongside big Hollywood names like Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, and Matthew McConaughey in his new film, The Paperboy.
But the 24-year-old hunk doesn’t believe that his talent got him there—it was all pure hard work.
Zac, who looks dashing in a sexy gray suit on the cover of Backstage magazine’s latest issue, admits:
“I might not be the greatest actor, but I walk into every project willing to work hard. There are a lot of people who can slide on talent their whole lives; they’re just naturally gifted. I’ve never considered myself one of those people. I enjoy outworking the opposition.”
Apart from working hard, the 17 Again star knows that his success—and his longevity in the movie business—all depend on his ability to remain an actor… and not a celebrity. This means no public scandals, rehab stints, and rumors of diva behavior—all of which Zac has managed to avoid in the six years that he has been in showbiz. He shares:
“I know I’ve been lucky. But it’s what you do with that luck afterwards that really defines whether you stick around.”
On his role in The Paperboy, which is his most adult film role to date, Zac says:
“It’s crucial for me to be finding roles that I don’t necessarily have the answers to. I’m proud to say I was courageous enough to step into a part I didn’t fully understand and followed my director blindly.”
Though he’s taken on a diverse collection of films since his High School Musical days, the blue-eyed hottie reveals that it will be a long time before he starts accepting roles in a big budget movie franchise. He explains:
“It’s not that I’m opposed to doing a big-budget action movie. But it has to be the right project. I don’t know that I’ve earned the right to hold a gun, if that makes sense. I need to pay my dues.”