Zac Efron nearly didn't get Firestarter role due to 'teen idol' status

Zac Efron nearly didn't get Firestarter role due to 'teen idol' status

Zac Efron nearly missed out in a new adaptation of Stephen King's 'Firestarter' because of his past as a teen heart-throb.

The 'High School Musical' star appears in Keith Thomas' big screen reimagining of the classic 1980 book playing Andy McGee - a father with psychic abilities - but the filmmaker admitted the 34-year-old star's past roles in the likes of '17 Again' and 'Hairspray' made it hard for him to envisage him for the part.

However, Keith changed his mind after watching Zac's turn as serial killer Ted Bundy in 2019 film 'Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile'.

Keith told Total Film magazine: "As for Zac ... immediately I thought of the teen idol thing, though I'd seen him in the Ted Bundy film and some other roles.

"But when I first met with him ... you know, he's in his mid-30s, and was very keen to do something different; to do a genre he'd never been in before; and to portray a father."

Zac recently admitted he was "drastically under-prepared" for playing a father in the film.

He said: “I didn’t think about it all that much.

“And then when we started filming the movie, I had a two-week quarantine … and when I got out of quarantine, we started filming that Monday, so it was a pretty quick intro to the film, and all of a sudden I had this daughter in front of me.

“We had a pretty heavy dad-daughter scene right off the bat, and I realised I was drastically under-prepared for this part. I didn’t know what I was doing.”

After shooting the movie, the actor admitted he will not be looking to have kids anytime soon.

He added: "I think that was a healthy dose to put me off for as long as necessary. I have a little bit more growing to do, probably."