Nicole Sperling
April 03, 2009 AT 09:27 AM EDT

In about as polite a manner as he could muster, teenage heartthrob Zac Efron confessed to why he said no to the Footloose remake: He didn’t want to be type-cast as the musical guy. In Las Vegas to receive the Showest Breakthrough Performer of the Year award, Efron confirmed what many in the industry had speculated. “I’m sure Footloose would have been a huge challenge,” Efron said, “but the actors that I love and the actors that work really hard in this industry are always shaking things up, trying new genres, acquiring new skill sets. That’s what’s always going to appeal to me: the unknown.” So Efron’s trading in those dancing shoes for a shovel in The Death & Life of Charlie St. Cloud at Universal. Reuniting with 17 Again director Burr Stears, Efron will play a young man who takes a job as a cemetery caretaker where his younger brother has recently been buried. He has weekly meetings with his deceased sibling and begins a romantic relationship with a young woman believed to be missing in a sailing accident. He’s not sure if she is real or an apparition.

You May Like