It may be very easy to associate Zac Efron with music that sets up a romantic mood, what with his breakout movie, High School Musical. But now, the 27-year-old heartthrob is about to raise heartbeats to a new level as he spins EDM (electronic dance music) in his latest film, “We Are Your Friends”.
Efron plays Cole Carter, a struggling DJ who spends his nights working on a track that could get the world pumped up and may lead him to an illustrious career. In the movie trailer, Carter calls it the DJ’s job “to get the crowd out of their heads and into their bodies”. He further reveals, “I like to start them off at 125 beats per minute...and start bringing them up, song by song.” This is how he catches the attention of a charismatic but damaged older DJ named James (Wes Bentley of “The Hunger Games”) who takes him under his wing. But it turns out that love for music is not the only thing they have in common as Cole falls in love with James’ girlfriend Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski of “Gone Girl”). Now, Cole must choose between love, loyalty, and the future he’s always longed for.
To make sure that Efron is convincing as a DJ, the actor was mentored by no less than DJ Alesso, who started to gain popularity in 2012, prompting pop icon Madonna to call him “the next big thing in dance music”. In 2014, DJ Alesso ranked 15th on DJ Magazine’s list of Top 100 DJs. Hard work is an important aspect of this film, and Efron did just that in his lessons with Alesso. The latter revealed in an interview that Efron trained with him *twice or thrice a week for three months before filming began. Sometimes, the actor would even visit Alesso’s gigs to see what it’s like in the booth. There were even times when Alesso would allow Efron to hit the turntable, to the amazement of the people in the club.
“We Are Your Friends” marks Max Joseph’s (MTV’s “Catfish: The TV Show”) feature film directorial debut. To capture the EDM craze at its purest, Joseph and everyone involved in the film actually threw a block party music festival in Downtown L.A. called “Summerfest”. *“We invited everyone to come for free, and all they had to do was RSVP. They came and we had a blast.”
We Are Your Friends: Music From The Original Motion Picture is out now via MCA Music (Universal Music Philippines).