Zac Efron recalls the phone call with Michael Jackson that had them both in tears

Zac Efron never met Michael Jackson in person, but he did share an emotional phone call with the late King of Pop, who was one of his idols. The actor, now 30, unexpectedly ended up on the line with Jackson while in Paris promoting one of the High School Musical movies, when he was 20 or 21 years old. He shared the memory during a recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show.

HSM director Kenny Ortega, who worked with Jackson on his documentary and concern film This Is It just before the singer's death, ended up taking a call from Jackson while out to dinner with Efron.

"His phone rang, and I remember I got this look, like ... 'You want this phone call.' I was like, 'Okay,' so I came over and was like, 'What's going on?' He goes, 'It's Michael Jackson.'" 

43 PHOTOS
Zac Efron through the years
See Gallery
Zac Efron through the years
UNIVERSAL CITY , CA - JUNE 24: Actor Zac Efron arrives for 'The Revenge Of The Mummy - The Ride' Gala Benefit Opening At Universal Studios on June 24, 2004 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Zac Efron and Shelley Buckner (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
Corbin Bleu, Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron (Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage)
Zac Efron at the in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by Eric Neitzel/WireImage)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Zac Efron **exclusive coverage** (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Zac Efron (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/WireImage)
Zac Efron, winner Outstanding Children's Program for 'High School Musical' (Photo by Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic)
Brittany Snow and Zac Efron (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Zac Efron *EXCLUSIVE* (Photo by Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 14: Zac Efron arrives at the lunch of 'Hairspray Jewelry Collection' on July 14, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 24: Zac Efron at the 'High School Musical 2' press conference at The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on July 24, 2007. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)
Actors Zac Efron and Debra Messing on stage at the TNT/TBS broadcast of the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. 15311_js_0042.JPG
Actors Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron arrive at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheater on August 3, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actor Zac Efron arrives to the 6th Annual Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party on September 18, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16: Actress Vanessa Hudgens and Actor Zac Efron arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'High School Musical 3' at the Galen Center at the University Of Southern California on October 16, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
TOKYO - JANUARY 28: Actor Zac Efron (L) waves to the audience with actress Vanessa Hudgens during the 'High School Musical 3: Senior Year' Japan Premiere at Shinagawa Stellar Ball on January 28, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
PARIS - MARCH 24: Actor Zac Efron attends a photocall for the '17 Again' film on March 24, 2009 at Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 20 -- Pictured: (l-r) Andy Samberg as actor, Fred Armisen as Norada, Zac Efron as actor during the 'Gino's Pizza Rolls' skit on April 11, 2009 (Photo by Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Zac Efron at the Germany premiere of '17 Again' in Cinestar Sony Center in Berlin (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 09: Actor Zac Efron poses with Choice Movie Actor award for '17 Again' in press room during the 2009 Teen Choice Awards held at Gibson Amphitheatre on August 9, 2009 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LONDON - NOVEMBER 18: Actor Zac Efron attends the 'Me & Orson Welles' UK Premiere at the Vue West End on November 18, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Jon Furniss/WireImage)
AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 30: Actor Zac Efron attends the Q&A portion of the premiere of Me And Orson Welles at The Paramount Theater on November 30, 2009 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jay West/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 16:(L-R) Actor Zac Efron and Australian Surf Legend Layne Beachley attend Oakley's 'Learn To Ride' charity learn-to-surf event in aid of the One Sight Foundation at Bondi Beach on February 16, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mike Flokis/Getty Images)
BLOOMINGTON, MN - JULY 19: Actor Zac Efron promotes his new film 'Charlie St. Cloud' at the Best Buy Rotunda at Mall of America on July 19, 2010 in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Actors Vanessa Hudgens (L) and Zac Efron attends the 'Charlie St. Cloud' Premiere at Regency Village Theatre on July 20, 2010 in Westwood, California.
US actor Zac Efron poses on September 11, 2010 during the photocall of the movie 'Charlie St Cloud' presented off the competition at the 36th American Film Festival in Deauville, northwestern France. AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05: Actor Zac Efron arrives at the 2011 People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 5, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Zac Efron filming on location for 'New Year's Eve' on the streets of Manhattan on February 24, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 05: Actor Zac Efron arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'New Year's Eve' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on December 5, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 16: Actors Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of 'The Lucky One' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on April 16, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 24: Actor Zac Efron speask at the 'The Paperboy' press conference during the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 24, 2012 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
BLACK AND WHITE VERSION US actor Zac Efron arrives for the screening of 'At any price' during the 69th Venice Film Festival on August 31, 2012 at Venice Lido. 'At any price' is competing for the golden Lion in the Venezia 69 section of the festival. AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/GettyImages)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 20: Zac Efron is seen on the set of new film 'Are We Officially Dating?' on December 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by David Krieger/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 26, 2013 - Actors Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron photographed at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on Tuesday, March 26, 2013. They are in the new father and son farm drama movie 'At Any Price.' (Photo by Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 24: Zac Efron on the set of 'Despierta America' at Univision Headquarters on January 24, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Actors Zac Efron, Imogen Poots and Miles Teller arrive to the Los Angeles premiere of 'That Awkward Moment' at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on January 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actor Zac Efron attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Actor Zac Efron speaks onstage at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Zac Efron visits 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon' at Rockefeller Center on May 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images for 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon')
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Actor Zac Efron poses backstage during The 2015 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/MTV1415/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: (SUN NEWSPAPER OUT. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE J. HOGAN GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Zac Efron(L) and Emily Ratajkowski attend the European Premiere of 'We Are Your Friends' at Ritzy Brixton on August 11, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0314 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Zac Efron during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on August 17, 2015 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 18: Actor Zac Efron attends the 'We Are Your Friends' tour stop photo call and after party at the Marquee on August 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Efron took the call and rambled on about how he was a huge fan and how Jackson was his hero. "I was just at a loss for words," he recalled. "He [Jackson] said, 'That's really nice. Can you hand the phone back to Kenny?'"

But when Jackson realized who he'd just been talking to, he apparently got back on the phone with him and said: "Oh, this is Zac from High School Musical? I love what you do. I'm a huge fan." Of course, at this point, Efron "lost it. I lost my balance. I think I fell over into the wall ... I just started crying. I was a mess."

When Efron once again told him that he was his hero and "the reason I do what I do," and that he'd shown him how to dance and how to shine, Jackson started crying, too.

"He ended the whole conversation with something along the lines of, 'Hey Zac, isn't it awesome? Dreams really do come true, don't they?" Efron said.

Watch him tell the story in the clip below.

26 PHOTOS
Michael Jackson through the years
See Gallery
Michael Jackson through the years
CIRCA 1969: R&B quintet 'Jackson 5' pose for a portrait in circa 1969. Clockwise from bottom left: Michael Jackson, Tito Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Marlon Jackson. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
American singer Michael Jackson poses at a hotel while on tour with Jackson 5, London, England, November 1972. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
American pop singer Michael Jackson attends the opening of the stage musical 'Dream Girls,' In Los Angeles, 1983. (Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)
Undated picture of US pop singer Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in on June 26 for the tortured music icon revered as the 'King of Pop.' AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read /AFP/GettyImages)
(FILES) US pop star and entertainer Michael Jackson (R) and actress Brooke Shields arrive at the shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles where Jackson is expected to run away with a major part of the Grammy awards on Febuary 28, 1984. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in on June 26 for the tortured music icon revered as the 'King of Pop.' AFP PHOTO/Alan ZANGER (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
American singer Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009) performing on stage, circa 1987. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
American singer Michael Jackson performing, 1987. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, UNITED STATES: American pop music star Michael Jackson sings 13 October 1988 at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland. AFP PHOTO/Luke FRAZZA (Photo credit should read LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)
(FILES) US pop star and entertainer Michael Jackson performs during the opening concert of the Asian leg of his 'Dangerous' world tour in National Stadium in Bangkok on August 24, 1993. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in on June 26 for the tortured music icon revered as the 'King of Pop.' AFP PHOTO/Pongsak CHAIYANUWONG (Photo credit should read PONGSAK CHAIYANUWONG/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 7: Singer Michael Jackson (R) and guitarist Slash of 'Guns and Roses' perform the opening number at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards 07 September held at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. Jackson and sister Janet Jackson have been nominted for 11 awards for their video 'Scream.' AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
US pop star and entertainer Michael Jackson performs during a concert at Vincennes hypodrome on September 13, 1992. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in on June 26 for the tortured music icon revered as the 'King of Pop.' AFP PHOTO/Bertrand GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
(FILES) US pop star Michael Jackson waves to photographers during a press conference in Paris on March 19, 1996. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in for the tortured music icon revered as the 'King of Pop.' AFP PHOTO / VINCENT AMALVY (Photo credit should read VINCENT AMALVY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 7: Michael Jackson (C) performs at Madison Square Garden in New York 07 September, 2001. It was the first of two performances in New York as part of his '30th Anniversary Celebration, the Solo Years.' AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read BETH A. KEISER/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: (FILES) This 06 July, 2002, file photo shows pop singer Michael Jackson (L) waving from his limo to fans in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. The child molestation trial against Jackson is scheduled to start 31 January, 2005, in Santa Maria, California. The star has denied 10 charges, including child molestation, plying a child with alcohol to seduce him and of conspiring to kidnap and falsely imprison a child and his family at his Neverland Ranch. He is free on a three million USD bail. AFP PHOTO/Doug KANTER/FILES (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: US pop singer Michael Jackson salutes the audience after recieving the Artist of the Century Award during the 29th Annual American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles 09 January 2002. AFP PHOTO/Hector MATA (Photo credit should read HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: US singer Michael Jackson and guitarist Dave Navaro perform during the Democratic National Committee (DNC) benefit concert, 'A Night at the Apollo', at the world-famous Apollo Theater 24 April 2002 in New York. The concert was to kick off a nationwide voter registration drive. AFP PHOTO/TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
404248 10: Musician Michael Jackson performs at the taping of 'American Bandstands 50th...A Celebration' television special honoring the music show April 20, 2002 in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
BERLIN - NOVEMBER 19: Singer Michael Jackson holds his son eight-month-old son Prince Michael II over the balcony of the Adlon Hotel November 19, 2002 in Berlin, Germany. Jackson is in Berlin with his three children to accept a lifetime achievement award. (Photo by Olaf Selchow/Getty Images)
BERLIN - NOVEMBER 19: Singer Michael Jackson appears at the balcony of the Adlon Hotel with an unidentified child November 19, 2002 in Berlin, Germany. Jackson is in Berlin with his three children to accept a lifetime achievement award. (Photo by Olaf Selchow/Getty Images)
SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 18: US musician Michael Jackson holds a child 18 July in Soweto, South Africa, where he laid a wreath at the memorial for students who died in an uprising on 16 June. Jackson sang a happy birthday song to South African President Nelson Mandela at a surprise meeting with the president shortly after he arrived in the country. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)
SANTA MARIA, UNITED STATES: (FILES) This 13 November, 2002, file photo shows pop singer Michael Jackson arriving inside the Santa Maria Superior Court for a trial in which he is accused of canceling concert appearances and costing the promoter several million dollars. The child molestation trial against Jackson is scheduled to start 31 January, 2005, in Santa Maria, California. The star has denied 10 charges, including child molestation, plying a child with alcohol to seduce him and of conspiring to kidnap and falsely imprison a child and his family at his Neverland Ranch. He is free on a three million USD bail. POOL/SPENCER WEINER/FILES (Photo credit should read SPENCER WEINER/AFP/Getty Images)
SANTA MARIA, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Musician Michael Jackson signs autographs for fans as he arrives at his civil trial in Santa Maria Superior Court November 14, 2002 in Santa Maria, California. The artist is being sued for $21 million by his longtime promoter for backing out of two concerts. (Photo by Bryan Chan-Pool/Getty Images)
SANTA MARIA, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Pop star Michael Jackson testifies during his civil trial in Santa Maria Superior Court on November 15, 2002 in Santa Maria, California. The pop star is being sued for $21 million by his longtime promoter for backing out of two concerts. (Photo by Ed Souza-Pool/Getty Images)
SANTA MARIA, CA - DECEMBER 4: Singer Michael Jackson testifies during the morning session of his civil trial in Santa Maria Superior Court on December 4, 2002 in Santa Maria, California. The artist is being sued for $21 million by his longtime promoter for backing out of two concerts. (Photo by Jim Ruyman-Pool/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 27: (TABLOIDS OUT) Singer Beyonce' Knowles and singer Michael Jackson, winner of the 2003 Humanitarian Award, hug onstage at The 2003 Radio Music Awards at the Aladdin Casino Resort October 27, 2003 in Las Vegas, Neveda. For more information on Jackson's humanitarian efforts, go to musicforgiving.org. (Photos by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
SANTA MARIA, CA - APRIL 30: Singer Michael Jackson gestures while departing the courthouse after his arraignment on April 30, 2004 in Santa Maria, California. Jackson plead not guilty to the grand jury indictment of numerous child molestation charges. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story