Is Zac Efron doing better these days? Bet on it.
The actor – who’s promoting his buzzy comedy Neighbors – is on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter and opening up for the first time about his struggles with addiction and incidents like getting into a fight on Skid Row.
The good news: Efron shared he’s in AA and seeing a therapist, and things are a lot better than they were. “I think it’s changed my life,” he told the magazine, in reference to his new routine. “I’m much more comfortable in my own skin.”
About that Skid Row incident: THR notes Efron is coy about the details (fair):.”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 explained. “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. 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…. [It was] the most terrifying moment in my life.”
He also got philosophical: “When you have success young, and you accept the good things, you have to accept all of it,” he said. “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.”
The highlight of the interview might be the former teen heartthrob describing how he ingratiated himself with Seth Rogen’s group of comedy bros. “[Seth] passed me, and I just stopped and was compelled to say something,” Efron recalled, saying that he met his current co-star during the height of High School Musical mania years ago. “I blurted out: ‘Hey, Seth, my name’s Zac. I’m an actor, and I just wanted to tell you that I really love your work. And thank you for everything you’ve done.’…And he goes, ‘Are you serious?’ And I was like, ‘Yes, I’m 100 percent serious.’ And he goes, ‘Aw, man, I just wanted to hate you.’ And I’m like, ‘Seth, I get it. I don’t even like myself at this point.’ “
Oh man! It’s too bad the teen fame/Troy Bolton stuff brought him so much trouble, because it sure was fun. Does this mean Grease Live is a hard no?
Read the full THR article here.