Efron, 21, is best known for his work in the three "High School Musical" films and the movie musical version of "Hairspray." He will soon be seen in the comedy "17 Again."
"I was looking for a new challenge, and this was another musical," Efron told Usmagazine.com about the decision not to star in "Footloose" as planned. "I want to grow a bit with the types of movies I want to make. ... It was more along the lines that I was looking for a new challenge, and this was another musical."
Efron said actors whose careers he admires include Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael J. Fox, all of whom, Efron said, take risks and work hard.
"It's more about learning for me right now and trying as many things as possible," Efron told Usmagazine.com.