Zac Efron was probably thrilled that he got to work with an Oscar-winning actress like Nicole Kidman in the movie The Paperboy, but some film fans apparently weren't so thrilled with a scene that called for Nicole to pee on Zac.
Or at least director Lee Daniels was getting really defensive about the scene at Cannes. According to the AFP, this is what he said when he was asked about it:
"I'm not here to please everybody -- I'm here to tell truth."
So what does urinating on someone have to do with truth?
His statement might make a little more sense when you know what happens in the scene in question. Zac Efron's character gets stung by a jellyfish on the beach, and Nicole Kidman's character pushes away a bunch of girls about to pee on him so that she can do it herself. So the "truth" that Lee Daniels is talking about is that old wives' tale that urine can relieve the pain of a jellyfish sting (perhaps Nicole's character pushed the girls out of the way because she thought her urine had more ammonia in it or something).
Unfortunately for Mr. Daniels, peeing on a jellyfish sting seems to be an unproven form of treatment - some people claim that it does help the pain, while others say that it actually makes it worse. However, Daniels is kind of telling the truth if that truth is that lots of people believe the myth. Plus the jellyfish incident was a part of the book that the movie is based on.
It's odd if he's getting lots of complaints about The Paperboy scene - Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman wouldn't be the first actor and actress to act out this bizarre method of treatment. In the 2007 movie The Heartbreak Kid, Malin Akerman's character pees on Ben Stiller's character after he suffers a jellyfish sting. And it's not like Nicole actually urinated on Zac - a special tube containing fluid could have been used to make the scene appear authentic (perhaps what's bothering viewers so much is that the scene looks real). Friends fans might also remember the episode where Chandler tried to soothe Monica's jellyfish sting in the same manner.
There's no word on what Zac and Nicole thought about shooting the scene, but costar Matthew McConaughey stood up for Lee Daniels by agreeing with him that peeing on a jellyfish sting is the proper way to treat it (and since he loves to surf so much, it's possible that he's actually tried it before). John Cusack also came to his defense by saying, "Of all the things in the movie that are shocking, that was kind of a light scene!"
In The Paperboy Nicole plays a bleach-blonde beauty who starts a relationship with an inmate (Cusack) by writing letters to him. Zac's character and his reporter brother (McConaughey) are enlisted by the small-town sexpot to help get her death row lover freed.
So the movie sounds like it's a long way from Zac's High School Musical days. Will you check it out, or does the jellyfish scene make you feel a little squeamish?
Photo Source: Wikimedia