Dear Zac Efron,
Rather than Twittering, updating our blogs with lots of OMGs, XOXOXOs, and exclamation points (!!!!!), or do whatever else it is your tween fans do these days, we thought we'd take the time and break out the vintage letter format.
All eyes are on you as '17 Again' hits theaters this weekend. This is your chance to solidify your status as leading man…or go the way of so many other fallen teen idols only to end up on some crappy VH1 show where you battle your alcoholism and inner demons at age 41.
Honestly we're not that psyched about the movie itself ('Peggy Sue Got Married' and 'Big' are always on cable, so what new tricks can possibly exist in the 'oh my god I'm me in the future/past' genre have to offer.) But we're rooting for you nonetheless.
Here's some advice on how to stay on top:
Don't ditch musicals altogether. Sure after 'Hairspray' and all three 'High School Musicals' you risk the chance of being typecast, but that's not such a bad thing. Our generation has so few song and dance men (Hugh Jackman only broke his top hat out for the Oscars, Ewan McGregor hasn't done much musically since 'Moulin Rouge', and Jim Sturgess is just a mini-Ewan McGregor) and having someone like you repping the genre can only boost it.
Smart move ditching the 'Footloose' remake, though. Not because of the typecasting issue, but because 'Footloose' sucks. Really, a town where nobody can dance? Nobody's that conservative. Wait for a better project to come along. Keep practicing your musical talents, because if all else fails you may have to settle for touring companies of Broadway shows (just ask any 'American Idol' alum.) Plus we really want to see a 'High School Musical Reunion' in ten years.
17 Again opens Friday, April 17 ~ © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Be dramatic, but don't go overboard. You've clearly made your admiration and man-crush for Leonardo DiCaprio known in many interviews. Not a bad role model, serious acting is a great thing, but make sure you choose roles that actually have substance, not just flash. There's no need to play a transgendered homeless heroin addict reuniting with estranged parents just because it'll give you indie cred. Leo's a great guy, but we recommend modeling your career off Paul Rudd. He's talented, charming, funny, and is one of few comedians who doesn't stoop low for jokes. You've got his boyish good looks and smile, so go knocking on the Apatow gang's door (participating in any of their usual stoned and sexual banter will quickly shed that wholesome Disney image.) Now good luck finding a distributor for your recent Richard Linklater directed film 'Orson Welles and Me' (no sarcasm intended.)
Stay out of the limelight. You're pretty good at this already. Rarely have there been images of you out partying or getting DUIs. Go out and have fun, but don't be dumb about it. Just look at Lindsay Lohan.
Good luck Zac and hey, if it doesn't work out we're sure someone's willing to hire you as a model.
Story by Michael Mellini
Starpulse contributing writer