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When we sent our intrepid writer Mary H.K. Choi to interview the lovely Zac Efron at L.A.’s Chateau Marmont for the February issue of InStyle (on newsstands now), she knew he’d be a nice guy, but she had no idea how nice. “Yep, it’s true. He’s a gentleman,” she says. “He stood up when I arrived and was clearly slightly early because I was right on time. He offered to share his roasted artichoke and when I said it didn’t qualify as sharing food, he countered with ‘they’re just like nachos.’ At the end of the meal he lunged for the check and insisted on paying, saying it was ‘customary.'” Zac’s take on all this? “It’s just the way I am, the way I was raised,” he says.

He also offered up these polite bites to satiate your appetite for good, old-fashioned etiquette:

Respect your elders.
“This one’s important. You always have something to learn from people who have been through more than you. Be open and receptive to what they know.”

If you meet a girl’s parents, treat them like they’re normal people.
“Ask questions. Be engaged. Put yourself in their shoes. If I had a daughter and some guy came home with her, I’d be on him like a hawk. When I meet people’s parents I know my place. It’s not that hard. Just be sensitive.”

Get your face out of your phone.
“Please. Be in the moment and be present. I feel disconnected like I don’t know where I am if I’m on my phone too much. I’m also just the type to call. I’m not good on text.”

Be punctual.

I do my best with this one. It’s part of being decent and respectful but I’m not in control of the schedule most of the time.”

 Finally, don’t be that guy.
“If there’s a party and they won’t let my friends in, I’d leave. No question. Who wouldn’t leave. I wouldn’t want to go to that party. That’s a lame party.”

To see the full interview with Zac Ephron, pick up a copy of InStyle’s February issue, available now on newsstands and for digital download.  

MORE:
• Zac Efron at Toronto Film Festival
• Tribeca Fashion Moment: The Director
• Zac Dances for John John Denim

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