He’s locked lips with everyone from Anna Kendrick and Vanessa Hudgens, to Michelle Pffiefer and Dwayne Johnson on the big screen, but Zac Efron is sharing why it’s his “electric” kiss with Zendaya in The Greatest Showman which has topped them all.
The 30-year-old hunk and his gorgeous co-star sat down with ET’s Nischelle Turner at the film’s junket over the weekend and dished on why the must-see scene is so epic.
“Our characters go through so much in this movie,” Efron, who plays Phillip Carlyle in the film, explained. “There's this unspoken kind of relationship they have that's communicated through looks and kind of electric, and at that point in the 1850s, that relationship was very taboo. Not cool.”
“It was an impossible love, so once Phillip's eyes are opened by Barnum and seeing the circus, he realizes that this love is true,” Efron added. “The lengths at which he's willing to go to chase her up into the skies, to swing on ropes with her and go into her world and never let go of this idea that they can rewrite the stars and be together, is beautiful.”
Zendaya agreed that the forbidden nature of their romance added an intensity to the standout smooch.
“There’s something beautiful about a love story where the two characters not just can't be together, but they can't communicate, so they're not supposed to be seen together, they're not supposed to touch or talk because it presents danger,” the 21-year-old star said. “So, there's something special about that because now every moment where they look at each other -- or so much as touch each other's pinky -- becomes [a] much more emotional experience for them.”
“There's a lot more at stake for these characters, so when the kiss happens, it's paid off because you're waiting for it,” she continued. “Every time you think it's going to happen, it doesn't happen. Unfortunately, they have to deal with the real world and the times and things that they're living in, so of course it pays off in that way.”
While both actors come from a Disney background, Zendaya said it was their crazy introductory time together rather than their shared Disney credits for helping them bond early on in the film.
“People love to bring [Disney] up, but I think the true connection was flying through the air,” she explained. “Our first bonding experience happened in the air, so you can't get to know someone better. You have to physically trust them to catch you or to not let go of you and so in many ways, that became our bonding experience. I think that helped a lot.”
“And, she was clearly cut out for it,” gushed Efron. “This was something she was meant to do. It was pretty evident on the first day she was ready to take it to the next level and that just got me stoked.”
The chemistry culminated in the memorable moment in which the characters finally kissed. And when it comes to such epic movie moments, Efron has a favorite big screen smooch of his own – that of Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet) in Titanic!
“That's another example of a class distinction that they have and they come together,” Efron said. “They went into that truck thing. That sweaty truck that they're in … the hand comes up. That was pretty epic.”