17 Again Press Conference with Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Matthew Perry, Thomas Lennon, and Michele TrachtenbergZac, before you started shooting, you and Matthew talked a lot about the role and doing similar things. Can you talk a little more about that and who shot first? Were you able to watch film on each other?
Zac Efron: "Who did shoot first? We went back and forth. I think it was all mixed up. Matthew shot a couple days and I’d come in and shoot. I was able to see a couple of scenes that Matt had done for sure, but I know that most of the work we did on figuring out the character was just done in rehearsals. We had a couple days where we were able to just hang out and talk and figure out the key moments, that really it was Matthew’s line that I was just kind of saying."
Matthew, could you talk about working with Zac and how you got him to be you?
Matthew Perry: "I finally realized like on day 5 why Zac was looking at me so much. [Laughing] But yes, Burr Steers, who directed the movie, is a very smart guy. He thought it was a good idea for us to rehearse together and read each other’s lines for each other. So, that was a big part of the rehearsal process. And he would say, 'How would you say this?' And I would say, 'How would you say this?' It ended up being kind of a cool part of the movie, I think."
Matthew, what period of time, if any, would you want to go back to or would you rather go ahead to the future? What are your thoughts about that?
Matthew Perry: "I’d like to go back to like 9:15 this morning so I could have had maybe two more cups of coffee and rethink my first answer."
Would being 17 appeal to you?
Matthew Perry: "I would love to be 17 if I looked like this dude [turning to Zac]. That’d be great."
We saw your picture in the end credits. You looked pretty good at 17.
Matthew Perry: "I looked okay, but you know… [turns to look at Zac again]
Zac Efron: [Laughing] "I’m 21, dude."
Matthew Perry: "Yeah, I know. And you really look it now, man."
Zac, this seems to be a perfect kind of transition from doing something like High School Musical to doing an acting thing where you get to do both and still play basketball. Did you see the movie that way? Also, I think Melora Hardin was quoted in Crave magazine today as saying you’re having a difficult time with stardom. Does that mean you’re going through some kind of existential angst about what your purpose here is and dropping out of Footloose?
Zac Efron: "Oh man, wow! Oh gosh! Thanks, Melora! No, you know what? Honestly, I’m not really having a tough time. You know, the number one question I’ve been asked for this movie is, 'If you could go back, would you change anything? If you could be 17 all over again, what would you do different? Would you go down this road?' I’m like, 'Absolutely.' This is like the best job in the world. I’m having the time of my life. I wake up every day with a new challenge whether it’s filming, learning a new skill set, interviews, press, that kind of stuff. It’s always fun. It’s always interesting. It’s always a challenge. I’m very happy with that and I’m very happy with my life right now."
"The first part of your question about the movie and doing 17 Again, it was exactly what I was looking for. This is an opportunity to work with a brilliant cast and an amazing director and, yeah, it was that chance to switch it up. It does take place in high school, in a high school setting, but it’s not a very high school character and that’s what I want to do more of."
And the Footloose thing?
Thomas Lennon: "I’m doing that now."
Michelle Trachtenberg: "He doesn’t even need prosthetics. It’s going to be awesome."
Zac Efron: "I was just looking for a change."
Do you know what you’re doing next?
Zac Efron: "I’m putting something together with Burr. It’s early in development, but it’s called The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud."
Matthew Perry: "But it’s still about a town that refuses to dance."
Zac and Matthew, what was your nerdy period of life? Did you have a time when you were maybe 10 or 12? What was your nerdiest time and what was that like?
Zac Efron: "I was great. I was pretty cool until about freshman year of high school and then it was downhill until I was about 17, and then something happened and it all came back. But that was pretty much the time that I was just average. I worked hard in school, got good grades. I was not that cool, so to speak. I mean, I thought I was cool."