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Zac Efron Attends London Premiere Of 'Charlie St. Cloud'

Teen star Zac Efron made a mature move away from his big screen image with the new movie "Charlie St. Cloud."  At the premiere Thursday night (Sept 16)  in London's Leicester Square, Efron even sported
PTI September 17, 2010 17:54 IST
PTI
Teen star Zac Efron made a mature move away from his big screen image with the new movie "Charlie St. Cloud."  At the premiere Thursday night (Sept 16)  in London's Leicester Square, Efron even sported a new beard -- a sign, perhaps, that he's feeling more grown up? 

"It's a slightly mature movie for the fans that have been with me since the beginning," said Efron. "There's always going to be new, younger fans. They're born every day. I can't make movies based on the fear of what they might think of it. I want to appeal to fans, who have been with me since the beginning and my own likes, which are slightly more mature at this point." 

 A cross between 'Sixth Sense" and "Field of Dreams," the movie is a bona fide tear jerker.

Charlie St. Cloud is a young man overcome by grief at the death of his younger brother, Sam. So much so that he takes a job as caretaker of the cemetery in which Sam is buried.

Charlie has a special lasting bond with Sam and can see him. They meet each night in the woods to play catch and talk. Then, a girl comes into Charlie's life and he must choose between keeping a promise he made to Sam, or going after the girl he loves. 

Filmed around Vancouver, Canada, the film is set largely on the water, with Efron's character an expert sailor.  "I didn't know the first thing about sailing, but it was fairly simple," said Efron.

"The wind blows into the sails and the boat moves. It's really so powerful, man. It's incredibly complicated, I had to learn a sail works more like an airfoil and that just rocked my world right there. It's a pretty challenging sport but I can do it now so hopefully I'll have the chance to do it more often." 

 Directed by Burr Steers ("17 Again", "Igby Goes Down"), the film is an adaptation from Ben Sherwood's highly successful book of the same name. 

"A lot of it was changed out of necessity," said Steers. "We couldn't shoot in Marble Head, Massachusetts. We shot in Canada so we reset it for Washington state, so it changed the feel of the movie. But it became something new, which was cool." 

 The film also stars British actor Augustus Prew as Charlie's cookie best friend Alistair Wooley. Prew adds some much needed lightness to the film, but the two young actors have taken their movie friendship into real life.

"He's a good mate," said Prew. "He looks after me when I'm in L.A. and his girlfriend Vanessa is amazing as well. And she was out in Vancouver at the same time doing "Sucker Punch 2" and my girlfriend came out there with me as well, so we had double dates and all that sort of stuff. It was great fun."

The film opened to lukewarm reviews and box office in North America on 30 July.  It opens in the U.K. on Oct, ober 8. AP