Zac Efron & Nicole Kidman Talk Co-Starring In ‘A Family Affair’ 12 Years After ‘The Paperboy’: “I’m Still So Enamored”

More than a decade later, the onscreen chemistry between Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman is still palpable.

As the pair promotes their new Netflix romantic comedy A Family Affair, they recently explained that they “both feel safe” with each other and reminisced about first working together on The Paperboy (2012).

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“We had so much fun doing that, but it was crazy,” he told People of the Lee Daniels-helmed crime drama.

“I’m still so enamored with Nicole,” admitted Efron. “There’s a part of me that pinches myself when I realize who I’m working with a lot. I think that was more pronounced during The Paperboy because I was a lot younger. I was very nervous back then.”

Inspired by a true story, Matthew McConaughey starred in The Paperboy as Ward Jansen, a journalist who returns to his Florida hometown in 1969 to write a story about death-row inmate Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack). After hiring his brother Jack (Efron) as his driver, the young man develops an infatuation with Hillary’s devoted girlfriend Charlotte Bless (Kidman).

Nicole Kidman, Joey King and Zac Efron in ‘A Family Affair’. (Netflix)
Nicole Kidman, Joey King and Zac Efron in ‘A Family Affair’. (Netflix)

After portraying romantic opposites in the film, which featured Kidman’s character urinating on Efron to alleviate a jellyfish sting, the actress explained that their behind-the-scenes trust was an advantage when teaming up again for A Family Affair.

“It’s really helpful when you’re doing this sort of work together that you’ve already got a history together, because it’s easy,” said Kidman. “You’re not working to create a history. So I’m not like, ‘Can I touch you?’ I feel incredibly trusting of Zac.”

Efron echoed the sentiment, adding, “We both feel safe, and we take care of each other.”

Although The Paperboy premiered to mixed reviews, the movie earned Kidman a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress — Motion Picture.

In A Family Affair, now streaming on Netflix, Efron plays Hollywood star Chris Cole, who begins an unexpected romance with widow Brooke Harwood (Kidman), who happens to be the mother of his under-appreciated personal assistant Zara Ford (Joey King).

Kidman praised Efron for being “game” in the making of their new movie, noting that he “came in and makes the film because he was like, ‘I’m here to have fun, to play, and to very much be a part of this and be there for you,’ for both Joey and I.”

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