“He was in his underwear half the time,” said singer Macy Gray, who plays a maid and narrates the movie, which also stars Nicole Kidman as what one Cannes reviewer described as “an oversexed Barbie.”
The movie, directed by Lee Daniels (Precious), is set in Florida in 1969 amid racial strife. Efron is 20-year-old Jack, the younger brother of a journalist (played by Matthew McConaughey) who has come back to his family’s small town to investigate whether a man was wrongly condemned to death row. Kidman’s character is fixated on the inmate.
In one early scene, Kidman tears off her pantyhose and has an orgasm while visiting the prisoner (played by John Cusack) on death row. Later, her character urinates on Efron on a beach after he is stung by jellyfish. So, did she have reservations about her character’s overt sexuality?
“Strangely, no,” Kidman told reporters at the film festival. “I think I had to step into a place to play the character where I didn’t step out of it and look at myself, so it wasn’t hard to shoot… I’d been looking as an actor for something raw and something dangerous.”
Efron, 24, agreed that the movie stretched him as an actor: ”As much as I love everything I’ve done, this is a new frontier for me,” he said at the press conference.
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