Zac Efron is joined by up-and-coming young actress Taylor Schilling on his new film The Lucky One. They chat to Lydia Jenkin about making the movie
The latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks' novel, The Lucky One stars young Hollywood heartthrob Zac Efron as US Marine Logan who returns to the States searching for an unknown woman in a photo he believes was his good luck charm during the war.
Newcomer Taylor Schilling is the woman in the photo, strong-willed solo mother Beth, who runs a dog kennel in North Carolina and offers Logan a place of recovery and solace.
So The Lucky One is based around ideas of fate and good luck charms; do you have any lucky charms of your own that make you feel like fate is working nicely in your direction?
T: I think that different people I've met sort of give me proof that there's a guiding force, there's a lot of coincidences that work out in the right way.
Z: I feel very lucky too, I feel like I've been very blessed in many scenarios. But I don't have anything physical [like the photo Logan finds].
I'm lucky to make it out of the house with my phone, wallet, and keys, you know.
Are you both fans of previous Nicholas Sparks' adaptations?
T: Absolutely, I think we're both big fans of The Notebook.
Z: I love The Notebook a lot, I watch it all the time, every day, I cry every time, every day. It's an amazing movie.
So you enjoy films which get the tears flowing?
Z: Yes I do, a lot.
What was the last film you remember seeing that made you shed a few tears?
Z: Toy Story 3. Have you seen it?
No, unfortunately not.
Z: Don't judge me.
T: I haven't seen it either, so I don't know about this.
Z: It's sadder than The Notebook, it's even sadder than Old Yeller [the 1957 Disney boy-and-his-dog film]. It's like the end of Titanic sad. It's like Brother Bear and Bambi sad.
So, there's the usual joke that says you should never work with animals or children, but you guys ended up working with both dogs, and young Riley Thomas Stewart. Did you have to do any training to work with the dogs?
Z: We did have to do some, but we had phenomenal animal trainers, the best in the business. And the dogs clearly went to college for longer than us.
T: They were smarter and better at hitting their marks than I was most of the time. Very talented animals who were loads of fun to work with. And Riley is adorable. So much fun to work with.
Z: He's an absolute stud, and such a pleasure. All that charm and charisma you see in the movie is how he is in real life, probably even more so.
Taylor how did you find being the new leading lady to a Hollywood heartthrob? Did you feel any pressure being in a position that many young women would envy?
T: I think it's probably a testament to Zac, but I never really felt any pressure. Zac is very generous as an actor, and it was a very comfortable working relationship.
Z: I felt pressure. I wanted to find an amazing actress, and Taylor came along and she was awesome, and just perfect.
Your character Logan is a multi-talented hero who can fix boats, play piano, dance, and he's great with kids and dogs, do you think that sets the bar pretty high for a lot of guys?
Z: Yeah totally, I even felt it while I was doing it. I could hear this little voice in my head going 'noooooooooo'. But I think that was also the great thing about Logan as a character, he had great integrity, and he's the dream guy. He's the kinda guy I'm looking for.
Music plays a pivotal role in setting up some of the more dramatic moments, particularly the love scenes - did you guys ever listen to any music to get yourselves in the mood or in the right zone before you did a scene?
Z: Sometimes we would listen to Phil Collins just before the love scenes. [Zac begins singing] "I can feel it coming in the air tonight, hold on". No really, sometimes you do use music to get you into the cues, specially for any upbeat, high energy scenes.
Zac you've been busy working on a film called The Paperboy too?
Z: Yes, I just finished. We've got a killer cast - Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, John Cusack, and Macy Gray. I'm really excited about it. It's pretty dramatic and kinda weird. I play a student-turned-journalist, and my older brother, played by Matthew, comes home, and we get involved in a murder case that we're reporting about, and things go awry.
So you get to see things from the other side of the media fence?
Z: Yes, exactly.
Who: Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling
What: New movie The Lucky One, adapted from Nicholas Sparks' bestselling novel
When and where: In cinemas today