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Disney idol Efron prepares to ditch blockbuster roles

former Disney teen idol Zac Efron says his movie career is at a crossroads, and that he is tempted more by less pay and hard graft than blockbusters and big bucks.

The 24-year-old, who became a household name in High School Musical, is in Venice for the world premiere of At Any Price, set in the cut-throat world of agriculture in which he plays Dean and Dennis Quaid his father Henry.

Efron's appearance drew crowds of screaming girls and came a few months after he walked the red carpet in Cannes with another small-budget drama The Paperboy.

"I sort of stand here with, say, two roads in front of me," he told reporters after a press screening of the film and ahead of its red carpet premiere at a glitzy gala.

"One (is) the easy path... towards money and the other one being towards playing more interesting roles that I don't have all the answers to.


"It seems like the choice that I respect more. I'm following my gut here and this is what I want to be doing, you know. I'm hungry for it."

Efron is one of several rising Hollywood stars in Venice this year, along with Selena Gomez and Shia LaBeouf. Venice organisers are hoping that young blood will help compensate for the lack of A-listers appearing at the festival.