Yes, we could link to a magazine article which includes pictures of Zac Efron rolling around in the mud. And in fact, that is exactly what we aredoing. But it’s because Efron chats to director Gus Van Sant about, among other things, his first serious role in Richard Linklater‘s Me and Orson Welles. The drama looks at Welles‘ 1937 production of Julius Caesar(the one where he updated the action to fascist Italy) through the eyes of Efron’s teenage thesp. Welles is played by Christian McKay and Eddie Marsan plays his partner-in-crime John Houseman. We’re anticipating egos, ballerinas, and lots of eating.
VAN SANT: I wanted to ask you about this Richard Linklater film. Is it Orson and Me?
EFRON: Me and Orson Welles.
VAN SANT: Where did you shoot that?
EFRON: Rick was brilliant, because he found this great theater on the Isle of Man, which, after a little bit of work, looked a whole lot like the Mercury Theatre did in 1937. We took a beautiful theater and made it look rusty and old and dusty, and, once we filled it with extras dressed in 1930s attire, the place was very believable. It even smelled like an old theater. It was pretty neat because we were basically stuck there—you know, we couldn’t leave. There was nowhere to go on the Isle of Man. So we lived in that theater for several weeks. It was fun and exciting, but it was also kind of maddening. I went a little bit insane.
Van Sant’s style of interrogation is a little Mike Douglas (“Is your schedule really tight?” “So do you actually skateboard in your house?” “Is [Tomb Raider] something that people still play?”) but this is Interview after all. But there are some interesting tidbits:
VAN SANT: A friend of mine was Welles’s chauffeur.
EFRON: Oh, really?
VAN SANT: Yeah. Welles was in his sixties, and he was in L.A. This was in the ’70s. My friend would drive him in some giant 1950s car that was painted turquoise. It was a convertible. The top was always down, and Welles would wear a huge 10-gallon hat and ride in the passenger seat, because I think he liked that people would see him and recognize him.
Me and Orson Welles has no official release date yet.