Zipping into the driveway of his L.A. home in a 1964 1/2 Mustang (in layman’s terms: the first Mustang model by Ford), Zac Efron makes quite the entrance. The actor has been zooming around elsewhere lately, too: the Baywatch reboot, James Franco’s The Disaster Artist, and, coming soon, The Greatest Showman, a musical based on the life of P. T. Barnum. But he took a few minutes to answer our 73 Questions while barbecuing on his deck to the sounds of a Google playlist.
So what did we learn about the actor? Well, the grill master bit wasn’t for show—he reveals that his favorite thing to do when not working is “pretty much anything outdoors” and that if he wasn’t an actor he would “probably be a chef.” Throughout the course of his interview, Efron also exhibits an affinity for naming things. His first cat? A stray he christened Coucou Kitty. The title of his life as a musical? Zacalicious. His DJ Name? AfroZac. All the while, he displays a sense of laid-back California cool; dressed in white jeans and a black T-shirt, he cites the classic black tee as his go-to look and says that if he were to design a shirt, it would free of any labels or logos.
The cornflower blue–eyed actor—who came of age singing in Disney musicals and graduated to the world of ribald rom-coms—did not shy away from his prankster ways. “One day, I tackled Macy Gray in my underwear . . . and she wasn’t expecting it,” he laughed. Upon being asked who he would most like to do a love scene with, he deadpans, “the Rock, so we can finish what we started.” (For those of you who missed it, Efron and Dwayne Johnson shared an unexpected on-screen kiss in the recent Baywatch.) The actor also admitted to having a poster of a bathing suit–clad Tyra Banks in his childhood bedroom. Perhaps that’s how he mastered the smize?
Goofball one-liners came alongside invaluable bits of life Yoda-esque advice: “to be like water” and “practice patience,” and finally, without exactly saying it in so many words, to love yourself unconditionally. At one point, he pauses to sling an arm around a cardboard cutout of himself. “What,” he asks. “do you mean, you don’t have one of you?”