AT ANY PRICE
The Second Son
The character of Dean, the underappreciated second son, traces a trajectory from rebel
desperate to escape the family legacy to conspirator desperate to keep the legacy going.
As Dean, ZAC EFRON takes on a classic archetype and makes it his own. The character
of Dean, struggling to break free of small town roots and family obligations, demands
formidable acting range and shades. Says Efron, "The key to Dean for me was to figure
out the relationship with his father and brother -- resenting one and loving the other, his
feelings of abandonment and his urge to break free. He's a renegade younger brother who
wishes he could leave like his older brother did, but he's confused about his life and his
place in the family. I enjoyed acting the dark side of Dean, and trusted Ramin to guide
me through the experience."
Dean's dreams of stardom on the big-league racing circuit extend the story into another
aspect of Americana -- and blast white-knuckle suspense and action into the movie's
storyline. "Race cars are Dean's escape from the mundane," says Efron, who admits: "To
be honest, racing scared the heck out of me. However, we had great instructors and after
a few laps, I got the hang of it pretty quickly. Driving the rally car through the cornfield
Although his character's name and plight might invoke another young actor who played
the moody protagonist of EAST OF EDEN, Efron says, "I was really inspired by Paul
Newman in HUD -- he's a prodigal son who's into fast cars too."
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