Zac Efron talks camping with his dad and putting on too much perfume (yes, perfume)
I can see Zac Efron on our video chat— his eyes so icy blue that one glance could probably keep your drink cool on a warm night— but I can’t hear him. This is a problem, not just because I forced the IT guy to sit with me until he made up an excuse to leave, but because Efron and I need to talk about Hugo Boss’s new bitter orange and wild tea-laced Hugo Iced Cologne, for which he is the ambassador.
Efron, who went from cute singing basketballer in Disney’s High School
Musical to certified Baywatch hunk in just over a decade, appears to be on the cusp of his own McConaissance, à la Matthew McConaughey. He’s been tapped to play charming serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, signalling a career pivot. Killer aspect aside, nailing the charming bit won’t be hard for the 29-year- old actor, who is affable and goofy—when our audio finally kicks in, he admits to falling off a treadmill. “Hasn’t everybody?” he asks. Read on for more on Efron’s Father’s Day plans, high school memories and love of vintage. Hugo Iced is about being a trailblazer; what does that mean to you? “I think of somebody like Bruce Lee: He paved the way for martial arts in cinema in the ’70s and really brought on a whole new era of fitness goals, techniques and philosophy that melded Eastern and Western cultures. And he had a great acting career to boot— to boot! I just said to boot. [ Laughs] That’s Canadian, right?” What’s the first scent you ever got? “I was with my mom in a department store. There were free samples of fragrances around, and I thought they were really cool in their little tiny bottles. So I took all of them and collected them. I started putting them on at school—I thought I was, like, a man now because I was wearing cologne. I guess I put on way too much and I smelled like a chick because they were all women’s fragrances. I got made fun of quite a bit for that.” Father’s Day is coming up; what are you planning? “My dad and I love to go camping and backpacking. I might surprise him with a trip.” Where would you go? “Oh, well, that I definitely can’t tell you. It has to stay a surprise! But somewhere with trees.” What style advice has your dad given you? “‘ Quit stealing my socks,’ ‘ Those are way too big for you,’ and ‘Don’t wear that.’ I used to steal his clothes once I got big enough. I stole his Onitsuka Tiger sneakers, and wore them literally every day in high school.” How has your style changed since you started working in the industry? “It’s stayed relatively the same. I’ve always enjoyed people that look classic. Steve McQueen has always been a fashion icon of mine, really simple. I think simplicity is everything. I like a lot of vintage now. There are a lot of places in Japan to get cool stuff, so when I go there I find really cool vintage.” It sounds like you’ve been into vintage for a while. “Yeah, since the day I stepped into my dad’s shoes.”
HUGO BOSS HUGO ICED COLOGNE, $95 (125 ML), THEBAY.COM