Zac Efron: Teen star or Movie star?

I remain undecided on Mr Efron, since first encountering him in High School Musical 1 way back in 2006, i still can not make up my mind. He’s pretty, sure, and he can dance. But am i interested when he’s not singing catchy tunes to his naked girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens (more on her later) and dealing with High School troubles. Unlike his rival for female loins Robert Pattinson, Efron just doesn’t seem to read as MAN. He looks too much like he’s in a lifelong L’oreal Men Expert ad. Sarah over at Cinesnark wrote a brilliant piece about Efron and his ‘Elf Brigade’. Have a look-see : http://cinesnark.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/the-elf-brigade/ 

Anyway, its not just the questionable personal style that bothers me, it’s the career choices. For a 22 year old that claims to be in charge of his career and enjoy a risk he’s playing much to type. Take his recent effort; ‘The death and life of Charlie St Cloud’. On paper it seems that this story of a loner haunted by the ghost of his brother, or something, is a step into the strange for Zefron. When really it’s just hours of his pretty face pouting. ’17 again’ his first post-musical outing (Hairspray not included) was set in an American high school,had cheerleaders and while a comedy, wasn’t exactly Oscar worthy. That succeeded. Teenagers loved it. He tried a drama piece with ‘Me and Orson Welles’ but that sank without a trace, and for his next piece he’s chosen a Nicholas Sparks that sounds very similar to every other Nicholas Sparks; man goes to war, comes home to find his love etc etc. 

So i ask, can Zac become a serious actor man? Pattinson is choosing sprawling period pieces with Oscar winners, and edgy indie dramas to be more than Edward Cullen. And he’s still winning the teen awards. But he’s building an audience outside of Twilight, so when the twihards leave he won’t really need them. Zac Efron still needs the Disney tweens. And now i bring up Efron’s girlfriend, internet favourite Vanessa Hudgens. Her post-HSM movie Bandslam was actually quite good. Clever and witty. But it was marketed in the same vein as a teen musical. And it didn’t sell. And then her music career bombed completely. So she’s trying again with Zack Snyder’s ‘Suckerpunch’. To see if her nudey indiscretion can actually help her career and sell her as a viable sex kitten.

But how long can the tweens follow their stars, they’ve already given up on Miley Cyrus to an extent , and if Zac Efron’s and Vanessa Hudgens next films fail, will they be back on TV with their HSM co-stars Ashley Tisdale (who was actually the best thing in those movies) and Corbin Blu. Zac does keep getting invited to the Oscars, he’s presented twice (due to his friendship with producer Adam Shankman) but, let’s be honest, he probably won’t win one. He’s spoken many times about idolising Leonardo DiCaprio, becoming his successor. But by the time he was Zac’s age Leo had been Oscar nominated.And starred in Titanic. Zac was in a Disney Channel Movie. So there really isn’t a comparison. Sorry Zac.

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