Zac Efron's new movie "Charlie St. Cloud," out Friday, is certainly a far cry from his shiny, sugar-coated "High School Musical" trilogy. But judging from the film's trailers, there are some similarities to a few other recent films with an emotional/romantic theme, namely "Dear John," "Remember Me" and "The Last Song." When MTV News spoke with Efron, we asked him why this film is different, and how the story toes the line between sappy and sentimental.

"I didn't think it was going to be sappy," Efron said. "Because [director Burr Steers] doesn't do sappy, you know what I mean? Burr is very grounded. He is all about story and dialogue and plot and all about real."

Efron added that Steers, whom he also worked with on "17 Again," will quickly put the kibosh on superficiality if he sees it in an actor's performance. "If he sees [superficial] acting, he would come in and just, psshhhhh [He pantomimes an explosion with his hands]. So I've really had to trust him with that. And we all do, we all did. And you know, it turned out right."

The 22-year-old went on to say that he doesn't think "Charlie St. Cloud" gets too sentimental. "But at the same time, I wanted to make sure the audience got what they needed from it," he said. "Hopefully they are fulfilled and leave asking some cool questions."

It will be interesting to see how well fans receive Efron in his "St. Cloud" role, especially since it was recently announced that Efron has been pegged to star in "The Lucky One," the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel about an American marine who credits his survival in the Iraq War to a photograph of a woman he's never met. "Lucky One" adds to the already lengthy list of projects to which Efron is reportedly attached.

What do you think of Efron taking on different, more grown-up roles? Will you go to see "Charlie St. Cloud" and "The Lucky One"? Tell us in the comments.

Check out everything we've got on "Charlie St. Cloud."

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