Zac Efron Says Filming His New Movie Was ‘Brutal,’ And The First Look At His Character Really Sells That Idea

The last time we saw High School Musical alum Zac Efron in a movie, he was playing serial killer Ted Bundy in Netflix’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Granted, we would hear him as Fred Jones in the animated movie Scoob! a year later, but the upcoming Gold marks his return to on-camera work. That said, making Gold was “brutal” for the actor, and you can understand why upon checking out the first look at his character.

U.S. moviegoers still have a little over a month before they can catch Gold, but Zac Efron has shared a video on Instagram that explores just how challenging it was making the movie in the South Australian desert in the summer during a pandemic just a few months before Christmas. Take a look!

Oh yeah, that definitely looks like it was rough, so it’s only fitting that Zac Efron’s character look like he’s been through hell. As Efron explained, he was “blown away” by the scenery and vibe of the area where the principal photography unfolded, but with that beauty came desolation and harsh filming conditions. Director, co-writer and producer Anthony Hayes echoed how challenging it was to make Gold, calling it “the most brutal shoot” he’s done in 35 years. There were even dust storms that rolled in, and for Efron, all this added up to some of the “gnarliest conditions” he’s ever witnessed in his life.

Now you might walk away thinking this was a miserable experience for Zac Efron, but at the end of the video, the actor said that making Gold was “really, really fun.” Needless to say enjoyment isn’t something you’ll see reflected on the face of Efron’s character in the movie itself, but the cast and crew’s “solidarity” and “teamwork” made it so the shoot wasn’t completely miserable. Now we just have to see how the final product turned out.

For those who haven’t heard about Gold, the movie is set in a dystopian future and follows two characters who discover an enormous nugget of gold in an inhospitable desert and figure out how to excavate it. While one of the men goes off to find the right equipment to get the job done, the other, Zac Efron’s Virgil, stays behind to guard the gold and struggling to survive through harsh storms and with dwindling supplies. Efron’s costars include War Machine’s Anthony Hayes as Keith, Virgil’s partner, and Wentworth’s Susie Porter as the mysterious Stranger. 

Gold is set to make its theatrical debut in the United States on March 11, the weekend after the nearly three-hour-long The Batman’s arrival in theaters, and one week ahead of Turning Red dropping on Disney+ and The Adam Project premiering on Netflix. It will then become available on-demand on March 18. Don’t forget to look though our 2022 movies releases guide to see what other forthcoming cinematic entertainment catches your eye.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.