October 23, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

Zac Efron improves the original character of ‘Charlie St. Cloud’

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith

HollywoodNews.com: Zac Efron improves on the character of Charlie St. Cloud from the original book version in his Friday (7/30)-release film, “Charlie St. Cloud.” And that comes from a man who should know, Ben Sherwood, who wrote the book “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud.”

“The character in the novel is kind of a sad sack, frankly,” says Sherwood. “He’s a darker and more damaged character. The genius of this casting move, of having Zac play the role, is that he fills Charlie with a credible sense of promise, hopefulness and dynamism.” Not to mention those biceps!

This is the kind of role Efron was looking for – a stretch into dramatic territory after his successes in musicals and comedy. His character, wracked with guilt over a car accident in which his younger brother is killed, discovers he can see and communicate – and play catch — with his ghost. Sherwood says he wrote it when he was in a fog of grief over the loss of his father, that “It’s deeply personal, but not autobiographical.” And no, he’s never seen a ghost.

By the time Hollywood came calling, Sherwood was working in his former post as executive producer of “Good Morning America.” So, “to be perfectly honest, I was very distracted, and I think that was probably an excellent way to manage the anxiety of the development process.” He only learned of Efron’s casting after, appropriately enough, receiving a congratulations phone text while he and his wife were sitting in a movie theater.

Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News, Hollywood News

To read more go to BeckSmithHollywood.com.

About Beck / Smith

Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith are among America’s leading columnists. They’ve covered the Hollywood beat for decades — Elvis and “Easy Rider” through the Jonas Bros. and “Avatar” and all the stars and their triumphs and scandals in-between. Their Creators Syndicate column, Beck/Smith Hollywood Exclusive, is a source of top celebrity interviews and entertainment news in newspapers across the country as well as online. To read more about Marylin and Stacy go to BeckSmithHollywood.com

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