RB: In Charlie St. Cloud you have to play a more serious—perhaps a more real—character. There's a serious love scene, some drinking. Was that hard for you? Were you nervous about people accepting this version of you?

ZE: Of course I was a bit nervous, but with Burr [Steers, the director] there I could handle it with more confidence. He worked with me to figure Charlie out. But it was definitely different going to those dark places, and sustaining them for a long time.

RB: That must be a very different sentiment than a Hairspray or High School Musical, which seemed to be just happy all the time.

ZE: And that's how it was—happy all the time—so it was really easy in between takes. You could just goof off and then get right back to work. Here, in between takes I just had to go to my corner and sit and just listen to music.

RB: Your character gets a real second chance at life—are there any second chances you've had in your own life that you're grateful for?

ZE: I think mine was with my own little brother. When I was 17 I up and left, you know? Suddenly I was gone and I didn't even look back—there was so much to do and I was so busy. This was after growing up and sharing a room—literally, like I was top bunk, he was bottom bunk. I went from that to living completely alone. I think recently my brother and I sort of found each other again. Especially after doing this movie. I got to sit next to him at the premiere, and after the movie I just gave him a big hug.


Next Story