Wow. He really went all out this time!
And he really deserves mad props for it!
Zac Efron recently opened up about playing a Marine returning home after his third tour of duty in Iraq in The Lucky One, based on the 2008 Nicholas Sparks novel, and revealed that to properly prepare for the role, he spent quite a bit of time training and spending time at Camp Pendleton - and gained lots of YUMMY MUSCLE!
"I think there's nothing as extreme as being out there in a war. Coming home, he's forced to sort of rediscover his life or whatever. What's next? He's on his own to find out what ultimately makes him happy and what he wants to do. I think it's very different from taking orders and being with your brothers constantly and fighting a war and then trying to live your life after and find love."
"It's an emblematic sort of journey. It rides on a literal sort of following him beat by beat down a certain route. It's more of somebody undertaking a journey than is about finding where they belong. So it's not a literal road trip, but there's something where each of the images has to be powerfully evocative of the idea of taking yourself on a walk like that."
Our little Zefron is being such a mature, serious young actor!
AND ALL THE MORE SEKSI BY THE MINUTE!
Check out more of his comments on The Lucky One production, his training, and his co-stars…AFTER THE JUMP!
On preparing for the role and under-going military training:
"Physically I started eating a lot. Eating through walls. Just eating and eating. That's all I'd do and I put on some weight that way. As far as the training goes, just trying different techniques and methods and working with a guy who I met who trained Vanessa [Hudgens] during 'Sucker Punch'… It's one of the only concrete things that you can do to feel differently about a character. I didn't feel like a Marine. I didn't have the posture. I didn't feel like I had the presence and that was just one thing for me that I could do to really up that change."
"When I went in to meet some of these guys, the sergeants, I was blown away. I was taller than most of the guys, but they were just thick, like there was something about them. They had a definite presence. Here I am, slouched over and I just smile a lot. I'm just always smiling. These guys were [always serious]. Honestly, it was one of the most awkward moments in my entire life. Essentially, they know you're there to observe them. It's sort of just an awkward position to be in. But after about two hours, the guys really opened up and just started to talk more freely about what it's like. I definitely felt like I was inside, seeing the side of these guys that normal people really don't get to see."
"Pretty much all the Marines you see have tattoos. And when we talked to the guys at Pendleton, they all talked about. It was hilarious and all of them were like, 'Hey, what's your mistake tattoo?' They all had various ones. One guy had a sick scorpion up his arm. They all had cool tattoos on their arms and forearms and stuff. One of the guys had a barbed wire around and I was like, 'What's that one for?' And he goes, 'Oh, this one? This one's real special. That's my mistake tattoo. That's the one that you get when you get out of basic training and you're real gung-ho.' I was laughing so hard. I was like, 'Dude, we gotta have a mistake tattoo."
On his co-star, Taylor Schilling:
"[Taylor] came in and was so professional and just so good…I just remembered she was doing so many cool, subtle things that I was just fascinated with. So I was like, 'I already love her. I don't know how anybody else couldn't.' It made sense. She totally deserved it at this point. So I was blown away with her."
On his dog co-star, Rowdy:
"He's like the best actor I've ever worked with by far. He follows exactly the exact orders. Everything you wanted to do. It's amazing… I was not prepared to see this level of training the dog. He sits, he lays down, he knows the basics. But then they get into the weird stuff where it's like, 'Alright, point your head this way!' and he looks. Then it's like, 'Eyes here!' and they can move his eyes in a specific direction."