"I'm growing up under a magnifying glass," he says, seeking some anonymity

By David Chiu
Updated September 03, 2008 01:40 PM

The fame High School Musical brought Zac Efron has been a mixed blessing.

“You don’t realize until it’s gone, but it is so important to feel normal,” the 20-year-old tells Teen Vogue for its October issue, about seeking some anonymity. “I’m growing up under a magnifying glass, and I just try to rise above it and live my life.”

He adds, “I’m not going to complain. But it’s something I’m learning to cope with.”

Efron will again star in Disney’s upcoming HSM Three: Senior Year, the last part in the series, which also features his costar and real-life girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens.

Hinting at what the feature film will offer in terms of his character Troy Bolton, Efron says, “The stakes are higher because there are real decisions to be made. What college are you going to? What happens to the girl? It’s fun watching Troy grow into a man!”

In his spare time, the actor is into basketball and skateboards, and he has Coldplay, N.E.R.D. and Modest Mouse on his iPod. He is already moving beyond his star-making Disney role by appearing in two new movies: 17 Again, with Matthew Perry, and Me and Orson Welles, described as a period film.

“I would never have, until now, called myself a movie buff. But I’ve found so many films that I never knew existed,” says Efron, referencing Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront and Paul Newman’s “Fast Eddie” character in both The Hustler and The Color of Money.