From The Greatest Beer Run Ever to Ricky Stanicky, Zac Efron Revels in Peter Farrelly Movies

From The Greatest Beer Run Ever to Ricky Stanicky, Zac Efron Revels in Peter Farrelly Movies

From The Greatest Beer Run Ever to Ricky Stanicky, Zac Efron Revels in Peter Farrelly Movies

Popular actor Zac Efron, 36, presently stars in the hilarious Peter Farrelly comedy "Ricky Stanicky".

Zac Efron says his parents "inspired" him and always supported him, even driving hundreds of miles to get him to auditions. As for his social influencer brother, Dylan, he quips, “We were very competitive and used to wrestle and fight a lot in the house. We’ve always got on like a house on fire.”

The California-born actor, who comes off as a fun-loving, self-aware bro, became a teen idol when he played Troy Bolton in the High School Musical trilogy, and now loves working with directors like Oscar winner Peter Farrelly (for Green Book), having recently collaborated on The Greatest Beer Run Ever and Ricky Stanicky.

Amiable Zac Efron talks about his family, working with Russell Crowe, and he also offers some great life advice—"Do the thing you dislike or fear, and make it a habit to conquer that fear.”


With Peter Farrelly being known for Writing/Directing Outrageously Funny Comedies, What’s the Premise of Ricky Stanicky?

It’s about an elaborate hoax, and we three best friends are all equally guilty of concocting and keeping up this fraud over many years. But then we have to deal with the hoax unraveling when we hire an actor, the very funny John Cena, to play our Ricky. Cue a series of misadventures and even more laughter, led by our fantastic director Peter Farrelly.

What Were the Highlights of Shooting Ricky in Melbourne?

I love Australia, and have now spent quite some time there. So, it’d be great to film more things there, maybe a series. They have great directors, writers and crews, the locations are just awesome, like the people. And the weather and food is excellent.


You Hit the Weights Hard for your Role in Baywatch, but You Surpassed that for Last year’s The Iron Claw, Right?

I had trained hard for Baywatch but took it to another level with The Iron Claw about the world of pro wrestling. I totally invested in it from the go—heavy body building, a lot of very specific eating and then more training every day, no cheating. But it was fun putting everything else aside and having super focus. I had half a year to prep, and my primary goal was to achieve that esthetic that the character I played, wrestler Kevin Von Erich, had in real life.

You Danced your Way into our Hearts as Teen Idol Troy Bolton in the High School Musical Trilogy, How Much Do You Still like to Dance?

I started as a dancer and it was so much fun to be in several musicals like High School Musical and Hairspray. Now, I’ve also danced in competitions such as Dancing With The Stars, and even got to dance in the movie, The Greatest Showman, where I played opposite Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum's protegé Phillip Carlyle—it was fun to pull out my musical theater chops. I will always love dancing.

Dancing and Pro Weestling Seem at odds, but You See Parallels, Right?

For sure. Pro wrestling and dancing both have choreography involved, plus there are partners you have to practice with. With both, the more you practice it, you more you get into the groove and get better at it. Also like with dancing, in wrestling you change leads

Did You Watch Pro Wrestling on TV as a Kid, and Did that Inspire you to Perform in The Iron Claw?

We, Dylan and I, weren’t allowed to watch much TV growing up. And, especially wrestling because we were always tussling and our parents didn’t want us wrecking the house by copying them. This was during the Hulk Hogan time, but we’d sneak looks at the programs. I found pro wrestling to be a fascinating world, and I’ve learned to love it. The Von Erich brothers, the subject of the movie, changed the world with their dynamic moves, and they took the choreography to the next level.

What Did You Learn from Russell Crowe on the set of The Greatest Beer Run Ever?

Russell Crowe really stands out, and we all learned so much from him—he raises the game of everyone around him on the set. I mean, we all felt we were around a real pro, an Oscar winner. Russell is all about his craft, but also generous, and I felt that the dynamic, between his character and my lovable idiot character Chickie, kind of mirrored my own real-life interaction with Russell. His character takes mine under his wing during the Vietnam War, and guides him through this unbelievable experience. And, Russell had my back both as an actor and as a character.

What Influence Did Your Father Have on You?

Growing up, our dad was big on self-reliance. He built our house from scratch. And he always encouraged me in everything I did. I wasn’t the best player on the basketball team, and I wasn’t the tallest. But he built a basketball hoop at home, so I could practice my free throws, and I became really good at them. My parents sacrificed a lot for me. Even for an audition for a small role, they’d drive almost 200 miles each way from Arroyo Grande to LA. They believed in me and kept encouraging me. And, they’ve continued to support me and my brother Dylan.


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  • Olivia Thompson

    What a delightful read! Zac Efron's journey from High School Musical heartthrob to wrestling in The Iron Claw is truly fascinating. His dedication and the support from his parents are so inspiring. Can't wait to see Ricky Stanicky!

  • James Hans

    Russell Crowe's influence on Zac's craft is evident. Learning from an Oscar winner must be an incredible experience. Also, the insights into his family dynamics, especially his dad's emphasis on self-reliance, add a personal touch to the interview.

  • Amelia Turner

    The combination of comedy and misadventures in Ricky Stanicky sounds like a riot! It's fantastic to hear Zac's perspective on Australia and his willingness to film more there. The love for dancing and his dedication to training for roles like The Iron Claw show his versatility.

  • Benjamin Evans

    It's amazing how Zac finds common ground in the choreography and practice involved in both. Also, the influence of the Von Erich brothers in The Iron Claw adds an extra layer to the film.

  • Victoria Mitchell

    Zac's admiration for Russell Crowe is palpable. Learning from a seasoned actor like Crowe must have been a masterclass. The camaraderie between their characters in The Greatest Beer Run Ever adds an interesting dimension to the film.

  • Thomas K

    The commitment Zac Efron shows to his roles, from Baywatch to The Iron Claw, is commendable. The details about his preparation for the aesthetic of Kevin Von Erich are impressive. It's clear that he embraces the challenges each role presents.

  • Emily Foster

    Is he single? He is my childhood crush. The insight into Zac's family, especially his parents driving long distances for auditions, is heartwarming. It's clear that their support played a crucial role in his success. Ricky Stanicky's premise sounds like a hilarious rollercoaster!

  • Daniel Thompson

    Very interesting! The interview provides a glimpse into Zac's childhood, with restrictions on watching TV, especially wrestling. The fact that he found pro wrestling fascinating and later embraced it in The Iron Claw shows his passion for exploring diverse roles !

  • Jessica Harris

    Zac's openness about his competitive relationship with his brother Dylan adds a relatable touch. The sacrifices his parents made for auditions highlight the importance of a strong support system in the entertainment industry.

  • Charles Wilson

    He is a charming actor since his Disney days. Zac Efron's positive attitude and willingness to face fears resonate with his advice on conquering challenges. Looking forward to more of his exciting projects!

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Ashley Jude Collie

Entertainment Expert

Ashley is an award-winning journalist/author/blogger who has written for Playboy, Toronto Star, Movie Entertainment, Sports Illustrated, Maclean's and others. He's interviewed various "leaders" in their fields, including: Oscar winners (Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lawrence, Alicia Vikander, Jane Fonda, Mira Sorvino, Geena Davis, Anthony Hopkins); Grammy winners (Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Ice Cube, Pete Townshend); MVPs in sports (Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, Kobe Bryant); and, business leaders (Amazon's Jeff Bezos). He has an upcoming novel, REJEX, coming out on Pulp Hero Press. And he has written several episodic TV shows, appeared on CNN, and blogged for Mademan, Medium, GritDaily and HuffPost.

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