zac obsessed

Zac Efron spearheads hairy holiday charity challenge for local crew on ‘Lucky One’

Zac Efron spearheads hairy holiday charity challenge for local crew on ‘Lucky One’

When crew members heard “cut” on set of the Zac Efron drama “The Lucky One,” which wrapped a 10-week New Orleans shoot on Tuesday (Dec. 21), they took it to heart.

And so as actor-heartthrob Efron heads home for the holidays, he is leaving behind a much balder crew base than that which he found while adding cash to the coffers of a New Orleans charity.

Clearly, an explanation is in order:

Efron’s character in the Warner Bros. film — based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, but reset from North Carolina to Louisiana — is a Marine fresh from his third tour of duty in Iraq. While overseas, he finds a photo of a mysterious woman that ends up becoming his good-luck charm. Once back home, he sets out on a quest to find her and thank her for watching over him.

And if romance should blossom in the process? Well, this is a Nicholas Sparks story, after all.

In addition to visiting the gym regularly to bulk up for the role and growing a dashing chin of stubble, Efron had his hair trimmed in a military-style buzzcut.

That got him thinking: Why should he be the only one making tonsorial sacrifices for the film?

So he made a deal with the crew last week: For every crew member who also shaved his or her head, Efron would donate cash to Kingsley House.

By the time the shears had stopped, some 30 crew members had put themselves on the chopping block, including two women whose lengthy castoffs were donated to Locks of Love, the national organization that makes wigs for sick children.

Just as importantly, Efron was on the hook for thousands of dollars, although his Los Angeles-based publicist, Gina Hoffman, declined to provide an exact figure.

“He likes doing things for charity — two Make-A-Wish kids came a visit to the set while he was there — and he felt like he wanted to do something for a New Orleans charity since he had such a nice time shooting there,” Hoffman said Tuesday afternoon.
(That is, something above and beyond the countless autographs he signed for local teenage fans who exhibited an impressive aptitude for sniffing out shooting locations.)

Efron’s donation isn’t the only example of community outreach from “The Lucky One” production. Co-star Taylor Schilling joined a litany of local figures — including Bryan Batt, John “Spud” McConnell, Garland Robinette and Bobby Hebert — in reading stories for the nonprofit radio station WBRH 88.3 FM, Radio for the Blind and Print Handicapped.

Schilling’s selection, “Olive, the Other Reindeer,” and all the others, will air on Christmas, starting at 11 a.m.

In addition, the production’s greens department is donating 300 plants used in the film — azaleas, ligustrums, bamboo, juniper — to Growing Home NOLA, which is dedicated to helping landscape lots left vacant by Hurricane Katrina, says unit publicist Claire Raskind.

“The Lucky One,” directed by Scott Hicks (“Shine,” “No Reservations”), co-stars Blythe Danner (“Little Fockers”), Riley Thomas Stewart (“90210”), Jay R. Ferguson (“Mad Men”) and Adam Lefevre (“The Bounty Hunter”). The production shot throughout the New Orleans area, primarily in St. Bernard Parish, Covington, Abita Springs, Ponchatoula and Madisonville.

No release date has been set.



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