Over a decade ago, [movieperson id="163585"]Claire Danes[/movieperson] co-starred with one of the biggest young stars in Hollywood: [movieperson id="16710"]Leonardo DiCaprio[/movieperson] in [movie id="94711"]"Romeo + Juliet."[/movie] Her latest onscreen love interest is, once again, one of the biggest young stars in Hollywood: [movieperson id="438080"]Zac Efron[/movieperson], with whom Danes stars in the upcoming period piece, "Me and Orson Welles."
Efron recently said that the actor whose career he most admires is in fact DiCaprio's, so when MTV News had a chance to speak with Danes on the "Orson Welles" red carpet Monday night, we wanted to know if she saw any similarities between the two leading men.
"They're obviously both very gifted," she told us. "They're both charismatic and gorgeous."
But far more important than their good looks, Danes explained, is the way they both make very careful career decisions. "They're also very discriminating in their choices. They're very discerning and have great taste. They're really serious and want to make great movies as well as great performances. So there's that parallel there. And Zac is really formidable and he's going to be around a long time."
Director Richard Linklater has worked with his fair share of A-list stars in their younger years — [movieperson id="380"]Ben Affleck[/movieperson] and [movieperson id="164796"]Matthew McConaughey[/movieperson] in 1993's [movie id="83001"]"Dazed and Confused"[/movie] — and told MTV News that what all these upper-echelon actors possess is a quiet confidence in their own abilities. "He's one of the least-conflicted actors I've ever met with his own talent," Linklater said. "Some guys just got it. The guy is just a natural born performer, a natural song-and-dance man. He's just a star. In this part I needed a leading man to go toe-to-toe with one of the biggest personalities of the 20th century [director Orson Welles]. I always say about Zac — don't underestimate him. You'll realize he's way ahead of you."
Co-star Christian McKay, who plays Welles, told MTV News that Efron had absolutely no ego on set. "I was playing opposite a genuine Hollywood star in my first film and he was wonderfully helpful and supportive to me," the actor said. "I don't like the fact that people want to pigeonhole somebody at the age of 22. Actors serve their apprenticeship, and to do that with such grace and humility in front a billion fans screaming at your every move and the world's press is an incredible achievement. And he's that kind of guy. He's humble, he's got his feet on the ground. And I, for one, am looking at all the wonderful performances he's going to give in the future."