TODAY   |  March 01, 2012

Efron recalls red-carpet condom drop

TODAY’s Matt Lauer sits down with actor Zac Efron, star of the upcoming animated film “Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax,” who says that after dropping a condom at the movie’s premiere, he’s instituted a new “pocket-check policy” for future events.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> zac efron is trying something a little different in his latest movie. he provides the voice of a 12-year-old boy in dr. seuss ' "the lorax ." who goes to great lengths to win the affection of a girl dreaming of seeing a real-life trufala tree.

>> what is this about?

>> it's about this.

>> wait, wait, is that --

>> yes. the last trufala seed, you'll help me plant it right in the middle of town where everyone can see it.

>> i could just kiss you right now! we don't have time for that.

>> we have a little time .

>> zac efron , welcome back. good morning, how did this happen? you finally got to be 24. you're not playing the teen roles any more. and you now you go back and play a 12-year-old boy. how did they convince you to do this?

>> i got a letter from dr. seuss ' wife and she, it was amazing. she just said that she thought i was perfect for the role. and that was really all it took. we-amazing cast. i loved the animators and it just seemed like a no-brainer.

>> you know, a letter from dr. seuss ' wife? i mean that's pretty cool. were you a fan of the books as a kid?

>> i was. my dad was a huge fan of dr. seuss growing up. he has an original copy of "the lorax " from like 1971 . he read them to me growing up. they've been a big part of my life and my education.

>> did you try to do anything different with the voice? everybody's got a trick when they go in that audio booth, because it's hour after hour. did you try to bring something different that's not just your normal voice ?

>> definitely. he's 12 years old. so i wanted all the enthusiasm and i sort of just came in and went wild every morning. i had to find my inner 12-year-old boy who is in love.

>> by the way, as much as you are a heartthrob in real life , this guy has to actually go through all the paces to win the affections of audrey. voiced by --

>> taylor swift .

>> taylor swift , which isn't too bad.

>> an absolute angel and her voice is incredible in the movie.

>> did you guys get to work at all together or is it simply like all the other animated projects where you're in different booths at different times?

>> different booths and different time. but i knew taylor and the presence she was going to bring. so i had a lot to play off.

>> your name brought a lot of attention to this who ofvy and there's something that also brought a lot of attention to the movie, zac, at the premiere. do you want to take me through it?

>> i don't want it take you through it.

>> do you want to give me a hint as what happened? you dropped something on the red carpet ?

>> i did. i never had a pocket-checking policy prior to going onto the red carpet before. but now we fully instated one. prior to going on the red carpet .

>> you dropped a condom?

>> yeah.

>> on the red carpet . which i think --

>> it was really hard for you to say.

>> no, it wasn't. i think it gives you credit. better to be safe than story, right?

>> it's a great message, to add to the many messages in the film.

>> exactly right. you've got your own production company , what's next for you? that's a bad pun, by the way. your own production company . what's next for you.

>> oh, man. coming up next is a did a film called "the lucky one," which is going to be great, it's a nick sparks novel. it's going to be out next month. we're very excited about that, as well as "the lorax ."

>> it's good at 24 you can still blush a little, which is good. well, zac efron , good to have you here. we think "the lorax " is going to be great. by the way, we always have to mention that "the lorax " is from our sister studio, universal studios . we're back in a moment, right after this.