August 9, 2010
Zac Efron appears on this month’s cover of Details Magazine and the accompanying interview is a must read! Zac explains how he contracted Poison Oak during filming of Charlie St. Cloud, Ouch! He also talks about why he passed on the remake of Footloose, a pass many think was a BIG mistake, “That film was a natural for Zac” Said one of Efron’s biggest fans, “I think it would have been a huge hit for him and I know it would have generated a lot more excitement than this Charlie movie has.”
Here is some excerpts from Zac’s Details Interview:
Zac Efron refuses to shake my outstretched hand. “Oh, dude, I can’t,” he says. “I’ve got a bad case of poison oak.” I immediately assume this is a new no-shakes-allowed alibi for the celebrity germaphobe … The tops of his wrists finally become visible and there are two large, angry-looking patches of red, scaly, bumpy skin: The poison oak was no lie after all—the one-armed-hoodie look was an attempt at relief, not some retard-o generation-specific trend. Then I notice the plum-size patch of skin on his cheek that’s been clumsily painted over with calamine lotion. “I went backpacking over Memorial Day weekend and I just got the worst poison oak, bro,” he says. “It was my first time getting it. Dude, it’s, like, everywhere. Everywhere. I can’t even begin to show you, ’cause you’ll get so grossed out. I look like a zombie from Dawn of the Dead.” Coaxing commences; negotiations occur. “Okay, I’ll show you my back, but the front’s pretty gross, man,” he says, then lifts his shirt. Above the bunched-up waistband of his underwear (boxers, Hanes, blue plaid), half of his back has been taken over by a crust resembling swollen cornflakes. “This spot just popped up this morning. Don’t touch it!” Efron is under the erroneous impression that anyone who touches him will catch his cooties—and maybe even develop a taste for brains.
There’s something oddly portentous about how he contracted poison oak … [Zac] led a party of nine through the woods and to a clearing that featured a majestic waterfall in a big California park that he refuses to identify for fear that the next time he hikes in, he’ll find that TMZ has established a bureau there. His dad had shown him the spot years before, and Efron wanted to share it with his friends. He had carefully avoided the poison-oak leaves the whole hike, using sticks to push them away, limboing under hanging branches. When they reached the waterfall, he climbed up the cliff face, which didn’t look so bad from below, and before he knew it he was standing 30 feet above his friends and the water below. He freaked. “My legs were shaking,” he says. “The pool started to look out of focus. It would get closer, then further away. So I sat down for a minute, but everyone was egging me on to jump. ‘Jump! Jump! Jump!’ I’d never seen anyone go off this jump. So I was like, ‘I gotta do this. I brought everyone here. We made it through the poison-oak forest. I gotta at least do this jump.’ ”
From atop the cliff, Efron determined that if he jumped too far out, he’d crash against the jagged rocks on the far edge of the pool. Maybe he also saw, down there on the rocks, the desiccated dreams of all the “real deal” actors who never panned out. All he needed to do was clear one little poison-oak bush directly below. No problem. He leaped. And the second before he hit the freezing water, he felt an ever-so-slight whoosh tickling his back and hands as the bush branches transferred enough of the dread urushiol oil to eventually spread over every part of his body—even his much-squealed-over teen-idol dick. “That was it,” he says of the leap. “The moment I got it.”
Details Magazine is on newsstands now.