Zac Efron is indeed a familiar face for us, known for his popular role as Troy Bolton in the High School Musical, which made him a heartthrob among the teens. Throughout his career, Efron has proven his versatility in several roles, including Hairspray, 17 Again, The Greatest Showman, Neighbors, and Extremely Wicked. Despite being a proven actor, Efron had to undergo an audition, which severely tarnished his confidence.

Zac Efron was left heartbroken when he was insulted in an audition

Zac Efron
Zac Efron

The High School Musical star Zac Efron, before making his big feat in Hollywood, had his fair share of setbacks and struggles, but in one instance, when he was 15, Efron auditioned for a live-action Peter Pan show, where he had a devastating experience that left him in tears due to a particularly hurtful insult. Efron himself recounted the incident to WENN (via Broadway),

“I showed up, and it was on tape in this tiny room. On stage, you speak to the back of the room and you project, and Peter Pan is very animated and jumping off things and going crazy, so that’s what I did in the audition—running around and jumping off my chair, singing the lines”.

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Zac Efron during young
Zac Efron

However, Efron also received some pretty harsh criticism in the middle of the audition. Efron narrated the incident during the press conference for his film Me and Orson Welles when he was asked which had been the worst audition of his career.

He also added that he was interrupted by a woman, who asked him ‘You’ve never done this before, have you? When he admitted that he hadn’t, it stood out as “the worst audition” in his entire life. “I kind of wept about that one,” Efron recalled.

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Zac Efron’s ‘Brutal’ audition experience leads to major movie role

After his Peter Pan incident, Efron became no stranger to awkward auditions. According to Cosmopolitan, Efron described how one of his worst acting moments led to a huge movie role. Describing the experience as “brutal,” the director asked Efron to perform the entire scene without smiling. The request likely put pressure on him.

A still of Zac Efron in High School Musical
Zac Efron in High School Musical

He even shared an anecdote to explain how he experienced all those awkward auditions. Drawing from his film, We Are Your Friends, where his character Cole assists a DJ by playing a track from his iPhone loaded with an uncomfortable silence. Efron recounts his experience, emphasizing how cringe-worthy and uncomfortable situations aspiring talents might face in the industry.

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Zac Efron in The Iron Claw movie
Zac Efron in The Iron Claw

Currently, the actor is slated to play real-life pro wrestler Kevin Von Erich in the upcoming film The Iron Claw. Based on a true story, the upcoming film will explore the “rise and fall” of the Von Erich wrestling family. The project marks Efron’s latest venture into portraying real-life figures.

Previously, he notably played serial killer Ted Bundy in Netflix’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, and recently, he played in the biopic of former United States Marine Chick Donohue, titled, The Greatest Beer Run Ever.

The Iron Claw will release in theaters on December 22, 2023.

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