While Greatest Showman star and Golden Globe nominee Hugh Jackman had to learn to sing in a pop style and brush up on hip-hop dance skills for his turn in the original movie musical, his co-stars Zac Efron and Zendaya are practiced pros in the pop canon.
The two perform Ashley Wallen’s hard-hitting choreography and up the stakes with intense aerial work in their romantic duet “Rewrite the Stars.”
“It was a nice blend of being able to be on the ground for a little bit and being able to be in the air. We have our ground team and our air team,” Zendaya jokes in the video interview above from the press junket for the film earlier this month. “It comes with a lot of work and training.”
Despite the contemporary bent of the choreography, while Jackman studied new steps Efron studied classic dance legends like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. “In particular for the dance with Hugh Jackman ‘The Other Side,’” says Efron. “Those guys are, I think, the bar. Who’s ever danced better than those guys?”
What’s more, the technique of greats like Kelly and Astaire complemented the variety of styles featured in the movie—like a circus-themed episode of So You Think You Can Dance. “They put so much soul and funk and different kinds of moves into this movie that fit—I don’t know how,” Efron marvels.
The Greatest Showman is now in theatres.