Efron's obviously working hard to transcend the teen-dream persona that's made him a star, and it looks like it's a shaky transition. The next HSM film will feature a whole new stable of Disney-fresh teen faces, and while Efron's too old for the tween set, he's still stuck acting younger than his age -- his next films will be 17 Again, an abominable sounding comedy in which he plays a magically rejuvenated Matthew Perry, and Me and Orson Welles, a period comedy from Richard Linklater about a teenager who's cast in a Mercury Theater production of Julius Caesar, circa 1937 (read our review here).
An excerpt from the Interview piece is available online, and it's notable for two things -- Mikael Janssen's hunky photos, reminiscent of Bruce Weber's 1980's Calvin Klein pin-up boys, and that Van Sant is, unsurprisingly, far more interesting than Efron.
VAN SANT: And so the play that they're putting on in the film is Julius Caesar?
EFRON: Yeah. Orson Welles was doing Julius Caesar, but he had a unique adaptation. I don't know if you're familiar with it, but Stalin was Julius Caesar in the Orson Welles adaptation, so it put a whole new practical spin on the play at the time, which was really neat.(...)
VAN SANT: How old is Orson Welles in your movie?
EFRON: He's in his mid-twenties, but he's got the wisdom and the presence of a 50-year-old . . . Well, you know, a 30-year-old guy. [laughs]