Zac Efron was cool with Nicole Kidman peeing on him in 'The Paperboy'
For his role in Lee Daniels’ new film “The Paperboy,” Zac Efron has to do a lot of audacious things – get in a fight, dance in his underwear, and get peed on by Nicole Kidman.
And while it sounds like something no one would willingly agree to, Efron, who spoke to CTV.ca during an interview at TIFF, says the Oscar-nominated director of “Precious” didn’t have to do much convincing to get him to do the scene.
“Not really. I gravitate towards things I don’t fully understand and that was one,” says Efron. “I think he even expected some backlash or some, ‘Why is this necessary?’ but I was just like, ‘No, I’m in. Let’s do it.’”
In the racy crime drama set in the deep south in 1969, Efron plays Jack, a sexually repressed young man who returns to his hometown of Lately, Florida, after being kicked out of college.
He soon gets wrapped up in helping his older brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey), a star reporter for the Miami Times and his writing partner Yardley (David Oyelowo), investigate the innocence of a Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack), in jail for allegedly killing a racist sheriff. Also in tow is seductress Charlotte Bless (Kidman), who has been writing to Hillary in jail, and whom has become the object of Jack’s affection.
The much-buzzed about scene between Efron and Kidman occurs while their two characters are spending a day on the beach and Jack gets stung multiple times by a jellyfish. To relieve the excruciating pain, Charlotte does the only thing she can think of and pees on his chest.
Efron says the scene was shot on the first day of filming but he managed to put any awkwardness aside by staying in character.
“I just went out and swam. Luckily I didn’t have to get stung by jellyfish but the rest of it was pretty real. Unless I took a step back and removed myself from the scene, I was able to grasp it and make it true.”
Efron also says he had no hesitations about dancing in his underwear.
“Believe it or not, that was all sort of improvisational. I didn’t know that was going to happen. I think Nicole sort of put that together with Lee. It was sort of just a product of the moment and it felt kind of right.
“Once I’m into something I don’t really ask any questions, I just go for it.”
Kidman urinating on Efron was just one of many shocking things in the film, which also includes some graphic scenes involving sex, bondage and murder. But Daniels says he doesn’t see these things as shocking.
“I think what’s shocking is that we don’t see the truth more often. I think it’s so shocking to see situations that happen that (we’re not used) to seeing, especially movie stars doing it,” says Daniels.
He says he didn’t have to convince the rest of the actors to do these things either.
“Because it was already in the script,” he explains, “they knew they had to do it. It was (more) like, ‘When are we going to do it?’ So I decided to do it in the beginning to get it over with.”
Oyelowo says it’s all part of what makes Daniels such a great director.
“He is shamelessly cinematic and shamelessly big with some of his choices and the way he pushes actors – how dare he have the princess Nicole Kidman peeing? He pushes (the) boundaries,” he says.
“If you’re an audience, especially coming off a summer of blockbusters . . . and you see something that will be something that will spark conversation, will stay with you for a while, it may induce you to need to have a shower afterwards, but still it provokes a reaction. I think that’s a great thing.”