Zac Efron recounts the bizarre story of how he made Michael Jackson cry
They say that you should never meet your idols, as it would only end in disappointment, but this isn't always the case. There is a certain air of invincibility around A-listers and sometimes when you meet them, you realise that they are actually hugely arrogant, with all the fame and fortune having gone to their head. However, every now and then, you hear the odd story that makes you realise that some of them are stand-up people.
Michael Jackson isn't necessarily someone who you would associate with the latter. The widely regarded "King Of Pop," struggled with accusations regarding paedophilia and sexual abuse during the later stages of his career and it's safe to say that at the time of his death, his reputation was significantly tarnished. Whether the rumours regarding the pop star were true or not, we'll never know, but they have left a dark stain on what was a glittering career in the world of entertainment.
However, despite the continued hearsay and accusations, Jackson retained a loyal and international fanbase. Due to his status as one of the biggest global icons to have ever existed, it would be fair to assume that a large section of performers and artists would credit 'MJ' as having a major influence on their career. One performer who credits Jackson as being a role model is Zac Efron.
Efron rose to fame off of the back of High School Musical and he has since gone on to become the epitome of a Hollywood heartthrob. He is set to make a return to the world of musicals this year, with him taking a lead role in the upcoming film, Greatest Showman.
While Efron was never lucky enough to meet his idol, he did manage to speak to him on the phone. Appearing on the Graham Norton show on New Year's Eve, Efron explained how he made Michael Jackson cry during their short conversation.
The actor explained how he was out for dinner with High School Musical director Kenny Ortega - who had worked with Jackson on This Is It - when Ortega took a call.
"His phone rang, and I remember I got this look, like ... 'You want this phone call.' I was like, 'Okay,' so I came over and was like, 'What's going on?' He goes, 'It's Michael Jackson.'"
Efron goes on to describe how he took the call and rambled about how he was a huge fan of Michael Jackson and told him that he was his hero. "I was just at a loss for words," he recalled. "He [Jackson] said, 'That's really nice. Can you hand the phone back to Kenny?'"
However, when Jackson realized who he'd just been on the phone to, he apparently got back on the phone and said: "Oh, this is Zac from High School Musical? I love what you do. I'm a huge fan."
Efron claims that at this point, he "lost it. I lost my balance. I think I fell over into the wall ... I just started crying. I was a mess." The actor says that he once again told Jackson that he was his hero and "the reason I do what I do," and that he'd shown him how to dance when he was a kid - leading Jackson to start crying as well.
"He ended the whole conversation with something along the lines of, 'Hey Zac, isn't it awesome? Dreams really do come true, don't they?" Efron said.
It's a heartwarming story and one which serves to show that meeting your idols doesn't always end in disappointment.