Actor Zac Efron feels a “weight” has been lifted off him after opening up about his addiction struggles in a candid new interview. The High School Musical star recently spoke about his rehab stint for cocaine and alcohol abuse and he has now revealed it was helpful to talk about his issues publicly as part of an expose in the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
He tells U.S. breakfast show Today, “It was a weight off my chest, I think. It was great. “It was a rough year, and, it’s kind of funny, (my new film) Neighbors is such a great icing on the cake for all of this. I was able to kind of channel all of that and put it back into this movie. And I feel great, really blessed to be here working with this group of guys, and I don’t know, it couldn’t be better right now. I’m really excited.”
His Neighbors co-star Dave Franco adds, “I’m really excited for Zac because I think a lot of people have this preconception of who he is, and once you see this movie, I think his teenybopper image is going to be completely shattered, and all these new projects that wouldn’t have come to him otherwise are just going to flood toward him.”
In the Hollywood Reporter piece, Efron revealed he has learned major life lessons after hitting a low in his life two years ago. He told the publication, “I was drinking a lot, way too much. 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. “(But) I wouldn’t take anything back; I needed to learn everything I did. But it was an interesting journey, to say the least. “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.”
The actor admitted that work was largely to blame for his past problems – because his career kept him away from family and friends. He explained, “(It) started to become the reason to go anywhere, the reason to talk to anybody. The phone calls I received were regarding (work), the ones I wanted to make were regarding scripts or to producers. Slowly but surely, I was no longer living in my house. It was just hotel to hotel. So my hobbies went out the window. I was just so deep into my work… (It became) a little bit destructive.”