“No matter who you are, you face challenges growing up,” he says. “You go with your things, you learn, you have to. It’s impossible to lead an honest and fulfilling life as a man and not make mistakes and ‘fess up to them when you need to. But it’s especially humiliating when they happen to be so public and so scrutinized.”
He pauses. “When you have success young, and you accept the good things, you have to accept all of it. You have to accept the moments of glory but also a great responsibility. And that responsibility, to some degree, involves being a role model. At the same time, I’m a human being, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve learned from each one.”
It’s April 11, mere weeks since the 26-year-old star of the High School Musical franchise and such movies as Hairspray and 17 Again got into a tussle with a homeless man in downtown Los Angeles in the early hours of the morning. Add that to his well-publicized stint in rehab, and any reporter might be forgiven for expecting the worst. But as we sit for lunch at West Hollywood’s Soho House, I’m surprised to find him thoughtful, gracious and candid about the growing pains he has endured while navigating the shoals from teen celebrity to adult stardom.
“I was drinking a lot, way too much,” he says, acknowledging there were drugs, too. “It’s never one specific thing. I mean, you’re in your 20s, single, going through life in Hollywood, you know? Everything is thrown at you. I wouldn’t take anything back; I needed to learn everything I did. But it was an interesting journey, to say the least.”
That journey is one well traveled by other young stars, with varying degrees of success — from Judy Garland to Corey Haim to Lindsay Lohan to Robert Downey Jr. Like them, Efron has had his travails well documented: First, he entered rehab for an addiction to alcohol and drugs last spring; then he suffered the indignity of having his jaw wired shut following a fall in his Los Feliz home, when he skidded by an indoor fountain; and finally came the March incident when his car clunked to a halt in a dubious part of town, after which Efron grappled with a homeless man. Precisely what happened has given rise to endless tabloid speculation, and Efron is coy about the details.
“I had a friend come pick me up late at night — we were looking for a place downtown to get a bite and catch up,” he says, without identifying the friend. “We were having trouble finding somewhere — a lot of places were closed — and the car ran out of gas off the 110. It was ridiculous. We had to pull over, and I called Uber.”
While waiting, “A homeless guy, or vagrant, tapped on the driver’s-side window. Before I knew it, he [the friend] was out of the car, and they started fighting. I saw that [the homeless man] was carrying some sort of a knife, or shank, and I got out of the car to disarm him. At some point, he dropped the knife, and I got hit pretty hard in the face — and almost instantly the police were there to break up the fight.” After that, the two friends went home. Efron calls it “the most terrifying moment in my life.”
The timing of the occurrence hardly was ideal, just weeks before the May 9 release of Efron’s new comedy, Neighbors, in which he stars with Seth Rogen. The $18 million film is getting terrific buzz for the younger actor, who plays a frat boy spinning frighteningly out of control.
“His character tests through the roof, and the most common comment we hear is how much the audience loves seeing him in this new kind of role,” says Peter Cramer, co-president of production at Universal Pictures.
Insiders say Efron took a major pay cut to make the film in exchange for a heftier share of the back end (sources say he can get around $5 million a picture, but he often has cut his salary to do work that challenges him). Since then, he has received a surge of offers based on strong word of mouth about his performance but has opted not to shoot anything.
He is trying to shed an unwanted skin, cleanse himself mentally and physically, purge a past that has come to haunt him. A self-described insomniac, he acknowledges wrestling with anxiety (“100 percent”) and being plagued by “thoughts, just thoughts, just overthinking things.”
Currently single, he speaks of “the struggles of dating, of falling in love, of searching for love and being there for your friends when they need you. There’s no question that to receive anything great, like love or respect, or to better yourself, you have to give a piece of yourself away.”
Read the rest of the article at The Hollywood Reporter
It has been rumored that fans will finally get a full Star Wars: Episode VII cast list on Sunday, May 4, which is known by fans around the world as Star Wars Day. While we wait for that all-important announcement, Zac Efron has now hinted that he may have a role in this highly anticipated sci-fi sequel.
Doing press with UK’s News 5 for his upcoming comedy Neighbors (which is apparently titled Bad Neighbors overseas), he explains that he does have a couple of ‘irons in the fire’. But will he actually land a role?
“I don’t know. I have no idea on that. I don’t know. There are irons in the fire, so to speak. I don’t like to talk about anything too early, because it takes awhile to get these things done right. Who knows?”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Zac Efron’s name pop up in regards to Star Wars: Episode VII. We reported in June that both Zac Efron and Ryan Gosling were being considered for roles in director J.J. Abrams’ highly-anticipated sequel. There was speculation that Zac Efron was being eyed to play the son of Han Solo (Harrison Ford), while Ryan Gosling was in contention to play the son of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Zac Efron did eventually confirm that he read for a Star Wars: Episode VII role. It seems he is still in the running for that role, even with production set to begin in May.
Naturally, nothing has been confirmed at this time, but perhaps we’ll get the answers we’ve all been waiting for on May 4. Zac Efron will next be seen in Neighbors, alongside Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, in theaters May 9. He also recently signed on to star in and produce an adaptation of John Grisham’s novel, The Associate.
Star Wars: Episode VII comes to theaters December 18th, 2015 and stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams.
Zac Efron is all smiles as he waves to photographers while making his way out of the BBC Radio 1 studios on Thursday morning (April 24) in London, England.
The 26-year-old actor made an appearance on the Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw to promote his film Neighbors, which hits theaters in the UK on May 3 and in the US on May 9.
During his interview, Zac expressed his love for co-star and producer of the flick Seth Rogen.
“I have always appreciated Seth‘s sense of humor, because it’s so honest, it’s really self-deprecating, and I’ve identified with it since I was super young,” Zac expressed. “He’s so good. He makes anything funny. He does [make me funnier], he passes the Seth energy on. He makes everybody funny. Our relationship never changes, I wish Seth could produce every film I’m in, he kind of just takes the lead he is always setting the pace and the tone for everybody. He helped the director, Nicholas Stoller, that’s what Seth is able to do, ground everything. He is a great idea guy, and he’s great to improvise with.”
Zac Efron may not have kept his earlier promise to accept his MTV Movie Award sans shirt, but no matter – presenter Rita Ora was quick to assist.
The Neighbors star, 26, had Tweeted, “If I beat Thor [Chris Hemsworth] – I’m accepting the award shirtless on stage” back in March, but when the moment finally came Sunday night, Efron’s button-down remained firmly in place.
As the audience heckled him, Ora snuck up behind Efron and did the honors, ripping his shirt down to the navel to reveal that the actor had in fact been working on his fitness.
“I really don’t know what to say, but thank you so much to my fans,” a bare-chested Efron added before laughing and removing the top completely, whipping it around like a lasso. Rounding out his acceptance speech? A flex and salute to the cheering crowd.