Zac Efron Almost Had A Music Number In A Family Affair. Here’s Why It Didn’t Happen

 Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron next to each other in A Family Affair.
Credit: Netflix

This weekend’s latest new Netflix original movie A Family Affair shows characters played by Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron falling in love despite the person that connects them being very much opposed to the whole thing. Both Kidman and Efron have proven to have massive range across their careers, but one certainly can’t forget each of their iconic forays into movie musicals. So why didn’t the movie have them sing together? We have the answer.

When CinemaBlend spoke to A Family Affair’s director Richard LaGravenese for the movie’s Los Angeles press day, I had to ask if he even thought about having them duet in the romantic comedy. Here’s how he responded:

I can't believe you said that, in the first draft of the rewrite, I had him singing to her, but Zac didn't want that. He didn't want that part of it. So, I actually wanted that in there.

Zac Efron earned his fame thanks to his early work in the High School Musical movies, and he starred in other musicals like The Greatest Showman and Hairspray (the latter of which he had a surprising reaction to when we talked about it in our A Family Affair interview). However, in his more recent movies, he has not leaned into his musical roots. Apparently, he wasn’t looking to do so in the new movie either.

Kidman has a few musicals to her name as well. Between Moulin Rouge, The Prom and Nine, the actress and Efron can certainly bond on their musical history. In terms of what LaGravenese wanted the HSM alum to sing, here’s what he had to say:

Well, I'm a musical theater geek, so it was a Jason R. Brown song that actually isn't from a show of his, it's one of his solo songs about being a hero. It's a gorgeous song [it was for] when they first get together, when they first kiss.

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Jason R. Brown is a musical theatre composer, lyricist and playwright who has won multiple Tony Awards for his work. He has a specific connection to LaGravenese because the filmmaker adapted his musical, The Last Five Years in 2014. It certainly would have been a sweet moment for Efron to sing to Kidman, but perhaps Efron isn’t up for singing these days. Memorably, he did not sing for the High School Musical reunion singalong along with his castmates.

However, Efron does get a little moment to use his vocal cords at the beginning of the film when his actor character, Chris Cole, and Joey King’s Zara, who plays his assistant, are in the car early in the film and he jams to Cher’s “Believe.” As LaGravenese shared, the movie’s writer Carrie Solomon thought up the moment. In his words:

We were on set and we were like, what song can they put on? And I think we had a song that wasn't really working and Carrie just thought of ‘Believe’ right there. And, it was perfect. So, we threw that in there.

A Family Affair is now streaming for those with a Netflix subscription. You can also check out what critics are saying about the Netflix rom-com.