Zac Efron opens up about the Skid-Row Fight, Addiction, Rehab, His Career and More

April 30, 2014

Zac Efron opens up about the Skid Row fight, his struggles with addition and rehab and moving forward with his career and more in a new interview for a ‘Hollywood Reporter’ cover story. The former ‘High School Musical’ star is notably candid on subjects which previously have been left for speculation.

The 26-year-old actor who was famously naked in the raunchy R-rated romantic comedy ‘That Awkward Moment’ is costarring alongside Seth Rogen in ‘Neighbors.’ But his movie roles which see him transitioning from his Disney ‘High School Musical’ days.

The cover story in The Hollywood Reporter is keenly titled “Waking Up from the Teenage Dream.” And in the interview, Zac Efron reveal that he is indeed waking up and moving forward.

As for the much-publicized incident on Skid Row, he spoke of it in detail, saying, “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…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.”

He went on to say that as they were 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.”

Noting that he and his friend then went home, he characterized what happened as “the most terrifying moment in my life.”

Later in the interview, Zac Efron chronicled how his spiral of substance abuse began as he acknowledged both alcohol and drug abuse. He said, “I was drinking a lot, way too much,” and noted it was “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.”

He spoke of how he had allowed demands on his time — constantly working on films — to get to the best of him, but also observed: “There was something lacking, some sort of hole that I couldn’t really fill up.”

He went on to explain how work “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.”

He added: “I hadn’t seen any of my very close friends in months. I didn’t realize how incredibly isolated I had become. I had a fantastic excuse to put myself at ease, which was: ‘It’s for the work. It’s for the art. You should be lonely when you’re working like this. That’s what artists do,’”

He revealed that now, post-rehab he has joined Alcoholics Anonymous. He said, “”I just started going..And I think it’s changed my life. I’m much more comfortable in my own skin. Things are so much easier now.”

He said of coping with his addiction, “It’s a never-ending struggle.”

The actor is moving forward with his career, as noted, with new movies in the works, along with the aforementioned ‘Neighbors.’ He will soon be seen in Fire and Black Math, both of which see him also assuming a producer’s role, as he did with ‘That Awkward Moment.’ He has also just signed on to star in the screen adaptation of John Grisham’s ‘ The Associate.’

You can see Zac Efron’s ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ magazine cover, the photos and the rest of the interview here.

Pictures: PR Photos

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