He may have started as a Disney kid in High School Musical, but over a decade later, Zac Efron has become more than a just breakout star and is known around the world for both dramatic acting roles and his rock-hard abs. The 30-year-old actor was kind enough to take time out of his busy day to answer five questions about his life in the limelight.
1. You starred in a Baywatch reboot with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson that hit theaters back in May. What was it like working with Dwayne on set this past year?
Honestly, working with Dwayne was amazing. He’s just so experienced and has a special way of drooling on you in a scene that really gets you engaged because it burns so bad. By the end of filming each day, I’d be nauseous and my skin would be charred and falling off, but you know what? We would have nailed the scene.
2. What’s the significance of the YOLO tattoo on your hand?
I got this tattoo back in 2014 because YOLO stands for “Yosemite Lover,” and I’m a huge fan of our country’s National Parks. Being out in nature reminds me that we only have one life, and we need to live it to the fullest, so I got the tattoo to remind myself of that.
3. You and the rest of the High School Musical cast had such great chemistry. Do you guys still keep in touch?
Yes, we do still keep in touch! It’s been over 10 years since the first High School Musical movie came out, but we all still get together a few times a day to brush each others’ teeth and comb our hair.
4. You sought treatment for substance abuse and have now been sober for almost five years. What advice would you give to others who want to get clean?
It’s been a really hard journey for me, but this is what I’ve learned: Alcoholism is like the VHS tape in The Ring—if you want to quit, you need to turn someone else into an alcoholic. It’s fucked up, but that’s just the way it works. Personally, I passed my alcoholism to Dave Franco, and he in turn passed it to Michael Cera. Michael passed it to his to dog, and then the dog died, so the cycle was broken.
5. Although it’s probably hard to decide at this point, what film of yours are you most proud of?
Looking back at my whole career, I think even today, I’d have to say I’m most proud of my role in Hairspray. Normally, I would have said High School Musical while answering that question, but when I turned 30, Disney sent one of its doctors to remove the behavior-modifying crystal they had embedded in my palm, and now I can say whatever I want. Watch this: Fantasia is overrated. They never should have made a Jungle Book 2. Man, I know people are scared of turning 30, but ever since Disney has freed me from my prison, I’ve never felt better.