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17 Again in our magazines

THE MOVIE: 17 Again

Zac Efron • Matthew Perry • Leslie Mann • Thomas Lennon
DIRECTOR: Burr Steers

The Class of 1989: Mike O’Donnell (Efron), the star of his high school basketball team has a bright future ahead of him. But the same night that a college scout comes to see him play, Mike discovers that his girlfriend Scarlet is pregnant, and he gives up his athletic ambitions to be a responsible husband and parent. Almost 20 years later, Mike’s (Perry) marriage to Scarlett (Mann) has fallen apart, his teenage kids think he’s a loser, he has been passed over for a promotion at work, and is reduced to moving in with his high school nerd-turned-techno-billionaire best friend Ned (Lennon). But Mike is given a second change when he is miraculously transformed back to the age of 17, and Ned, pretending to be his father, enrolls him in the high school and the basketball team – but in trying to recapture the best years of his life, he might lose the best things that ever happened to him

U.S. RELEASE: April 17 2009, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


Zac Efron and Burr Steers“The first thing that hooked me about the concept was the combination of heart and humor. I was already an admirer of Adam Shankman’s [producer] work on Hairspray. And then I met with Zac and we really hit it off, and that sealed the deal.”

MATTHEW PERRY on sharing the role of Mike with Zac Efron:
Matthew Perry“I finally realized on day 5 why Zac was looking at me so much (he laughs). Burr Steers, who directed the movie, is a very smart guy. He thought it was a good idea for us to rehearse together and read each other’s lines for each other. So, that was a big part of the rehearsal process. Zac would say, ‘How would you say this?’ And I would say, ‘How would you say this?’ It ended up being kind of a cool part of the movie, I think.’”

Zac Efron“Matthew shot a couple of days and I’d come in and shoot. I was able to see a couple of scenes that Matt had done for sure, but I know that most of the work we did figuring out the character was done in rehearsals. We were able to hang out and talk and figure out the key moments.”

Leslie Mann and Zac Efron“[Scarlett meets the new boy in town] who looked remarkably like her husband did when he was in high school, which is really strange. [she smiles] I love any movie that has magic in it and I thought it was a great story. My two daughters love Zac; my older one had pictures of him all over her room. And since I’ve worked with him I have to agree that he’s adorable.”

“Tom Lennon just inhabited the part of Ned. He was so inventive – just non-stop coming up with great, funny ideas – we actually lost takes because the crew kept cracking up. And the thing that’s even more hilarious about him is that he can be totally straight-faced while doing the most insane things.”

THOMAS LENNON on his light saber fight with Zac:
“We rehearsed that scene for about a month every single day with sticks in the parking lot of an Arbys in Hollywood. Zac really hurt me pretty badly one day on the shoot nailing me in the head. I think it was just a warning, just a reminder.”

“Yes, that day I did hit Tom, there were a couple of injuries, but I hit Tom pretty hard and I just thank God it was with rehearsal light sabers, because if we had been filming a real take, and used real light sabers, I’m pretty sure he would have had less of his face right now.”

“The day that struck me the most was the day Zac came back to the set – he’d taken one day off to almost die from an appendicitis and then came back immediately to work the next day, like at 8 am, and that scene is the scene in the courthouse where he reads the letter to Leslie’s character, and I just thought, ‘Wow, that’s unbelievably impressive,’ because he literally came basically from the hospital to the set and did the scene at the end of the movie which is incredibly moving.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2009 Visual Imagination.
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