Linklater credits "Julius Caesar" with revealing his true métier. When he was twelve years old at Huntsville Intermediate School in East Texas, he was asked to participate in "Julius Caesar."
"I pulled the teacher aside and said I wanted to work with actors on costumes. It seemed to me that I should be in control and helping, but not on stage," he said. Unlike Welles, Linklater did not achieve fame until much later. "When I was twenty two, every day I wasn't working, I would watch four films a day. I was dedicated to film, living alone and living cinema - pretty pure. I was living a life of passion. That's what it was about and I'm still in the vein of not having a real job," he noted.
Unlike Linklater, 22 year old Efron earned his big break at the age of 19 when he starred in Disney's "High School Musical."
"I think it's given me a lot of opportunities," Efron said of his Troy Bolton role, "I've come beyond what I ever dreamed I could accomplish. I feel like I'm just getting started." While Linklater is wary of early stardom -- "You are sort of penalized if you are successful when you are young. It's like you have to double prove yourself" – he also found Efron to be a "natural performer."
Both Linklater and Efron are spellbound by film. "I love the magic of writing a story or finding a story. It's like being pregnant with a movie. I love that feeling when you are getting closer and it's starting to work," explained the director. "You get to play in a big sandbox. It's not really your birthright. You have to earn it and maintain it," he emphasized. "We are still pinching ourselves all the time," agreed Efron. " I'm still trying to figure it out. I don't know what IT is. You never can be the best. There's always a different interpretation. I know I like to work in that environment."
Linklater channeled Welles while directing the movie. "I do scream," he admitted, saying his favorite catchphrase was "You are all here as adjuncts to my vision!"
"Me and Orson Welles" is currently playing in theaters.