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Zac Efron Shares Photo with Daniel Day-Lewis: 'Someone I've Looked Up to for a Long Time'

The 'Iron Claw' star and retired English actor met up at the National Board of Review Awards Gala on Thursday in N.Y.C., as seen in a photo posted by Efron

<p>Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty</p> Daniel Day-Lewis and Zac Efron at The National Board of Review Awards Gala in New York City on Jan. 11, 2024

Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty

Daniel Day-Lewis and Zac Efron at The National Board of Review Awards Gala in New York City on Jan. 11, 2024

Zac Efron is still reeling from meeting one of his idols.

During the National Board of Review Awards Gala on Thursday at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City, the Iron Claw star, 36, met up with retired actor Daniel Day-Lewis.

Efron shared a photo of the two men in conversation, both in velvet suit jackets — black for Day-Lewis, 66, and blue for Efron — alongside a poignant caption.

"The Iron Claw won best ensemble cast at the National Board of Review and got to meet [Daniel Day-Lewis] - someone I’ve looked up to for a long time now," he wrote.

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<p>Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty</p> Daniel Day-Lewis and Zac Efron at The National Board of Review Awards Gala in New York City on Jan. 11, 2024

Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty

Daniel Day-Lewis and Zac Efron at The National Board of Review Awards Gala in New York City on Jan. 11, 2024

Related: See Stunning Photos of Winners and Nominees at the 2024 National Board of Review Awards

Day-Lewis made a rare public appearance on Thursday to honor longtime collaborator Martin Scorsese with the best director award, for Killers of the Flower Moon.

While presenting the honor, the three-time Academy Award winner praised Scorsese, 81, for his vision and effort to create "enthralling" films: “Martin's work — with the light of his own making — he illuminated unknown worlds that pulsed with the dangerous, irresistible energy, worlds that were mysterious to me and utterly enthralling."

"He illuminated the vast beautiful landscape of what is possible in film, and he clarified for me what it is that one must ask of oneself, to work in faith," Day-Lewis continued.

Day-Lewis — who starred in Scorsese's The Age of Innocence (1993) and Gangs of New York (2002) — has been retired from acting since 2017. Though he rarely steps out in public, he was seen out and about in the Big Apple twice in spring 2023.

<p>Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images</p> Martin Scorsese and Daniel Day-Lewis at The National Board of Review Awards Gala in New York City on Jan. 11, 2024

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Martin Scorsese and Daniel Day-Lewis at The National Board of Review Awards Gala in New York City on Jan. 11, 2024

Related: Actors Who Decided to Step Away from Acting — and Whether or Not They Stuck to Their Decisions

Meanwhile, Efron has gotten plenty of positive buzz about his performance as Kevin Von Erich, the oldest of the famous Von Erich wrestler brothers, in The Iron Claw.

"I recently had the honor of portraying Kevin Von Erich in The Iron Claw and it is a true privilege to share his incredible story with all of you," he wrote in an Instagram post on New Year's Day as he reflected on what he was "thankful" for from 2023.

Efron first became a household name after nabbing the lead role of Troy Bolton in 2006's High School Musical, and has since taken on roles that run the gamut from drama, to comedy, to musicals, romance and more.

The actor was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last month, and told PEOPLE at the ceremony that his parents, Starla Baskett and David Efron, were "the reason I'm here today."

“They believed in me, and they stuck with me, by my side, through all of it. And I think they sacrificed a lot to support me throughout the years," Efron continued. "So to have them here and to both be here in person is ... it makes me emotional, man. It's very special. It means the world to me."

The Iron Claw is in theaters now.

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