When it was announced that Disney Channel legends Zendaya and Zac Efron would be co-stars in a movie together, it was met with a bit of a freak out for all the right reasons. Two beloved members of the House of Mouse from different eras working together in a major motion picture? Already we're obsessed. They're starring in the upcoming film The Greatest Showman, along with Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams, so with a cast filled with heavy-hitters, you know this is going to be a moment for our two fave Z's. We're here to break down everything you need to know about this movie:
What is The Greatest Showman About?
The musical movie tells the story of P.T. Barnum, played by Hugh, better known as the founder of Barnum & Bailey Circus and the man who pretty much came up with the whole concept of show business.
It focuses on how he started out growing up in poverty and eventually goes on to launch his first circus in New York, so a true rags-to-riches story. The movie is set in the 1800s but the music you can expect to hear will sound super current. Oh, and did we mention the songs are created by songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who you might know for their work creating the Oscar-winning songs for La La Land?
"We were clear from the beginning that this wouldn't feel like a period movie or a historical piece. What would Barnum do now? I have an almost-12-year-old daughter. I wanted [the movie] to be as exciting for her as listening to Katy Perry’s new song," Hugh said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Who is Zendaya's character?
Z plays a trapeze artist named Anne. And yes, that is not only her singing in the movie, but doing all of her own trapeze work, something she insisted on.
"She blew me away," director Michael Gracey said to Vogue. "I would shout out a direction or give the slightest adjustment, and while flying through the air, she'd do it."
So yes, it's her doing all her own stunts. It was all her and it wasn't easy.
"Now mind you, I have no muscle tone, no upper body strength. I don’t work out ever. I just have a metabolism and look like I’m in shape," Zendaya said to Variety as she spoke about how she enrolled in an aerial boot camp to prepare for her role. "It was extremely scary. I actually got to be on the real rig; it was 10 to 15 feet taller, and there was no net. I was like, 'What am I doing?'"
And she nailed it, of course.
"I got to accomplish something and try a new skill I never thought I’d ever do in my whole life but I did it. Scratch that off the bucket list," Z said to Entertainment Weekly.
Who is Zac's character?
Zac plays Phillip, P.T.'s business partner. Zac hasn't starred in a musical since his role as Link in Hairspray back in 2007, plus everyone knows him as the one and only Troy Bolton from the High School Musical movies, so hearing him sing and seeing him dance in a movie again is major. Especially since he has a duet with Zendaya, so get ready for all the feels. Which brings us to our next point...
Are Zendaya and Zac love interests?
YES. Zac's character falls in love with Zendaya's character in the movie so now we'll get to see what life is like with Z + Z as a couple. Or their fictional selves are at least. And from the first round of teaser footage and photos we've seen, you can already tell they have so much chemistry.
This is already too much to handle. How amazing do they look together flying up on the trapeze?
And so far, the Baywatch star has done nothing but sing Zendaya's praises, especially when it came to filming these physically intense scenes where they're doing all the trapeze stunts.
"While I was wincing in pain and covering myself in Tiger Balm and KT tape, Zendaya would move to her next scene completely unfazed," Zac told Vogue.
"She’s beautiful and rad, with a fearlessness that is impressive in someone her age. I think I still have quite a bit to learn from Zendaya," he also said.
Aww, this friendship is already the cutest. And then Zac went ahead and wrote the cutest 21st birthday message to Zendaya. "Happy Birthday to the biggest goofball I know, @zendaya! #fbf #rewritesquad #birthdaygirl 🙌☺️👆🎸💫," he wrote.
Their other co-star, the one and only Hugh, echoed Zac's sentiments about how fab the starlet is, confirming everything you ever thought about her to be true. Basically, she's the coolest.
"She’s what I call a unicorn. I don’t know if there has been anyone like Zendaya or will be anyone ever again. That girl makes it all look absolutely effortless," Hugh said to Entertainment Weekly.
This is only Zendaya's second feature film, right after her big screen debut in Spider-Man: Homecoming, so she's obviously starting her movie career off the right way.
The Greatest Showman hits Aussie cinemas on Boxing Day.