Zac Efron: My Addiction is “Never-Ending Struggle,” L.A. Fight Was “Most Terrifying Moment in My Life”

Truth rating: 10
Zac Efron The Hollywood Reporter

By Michael Lewittes

(The Hollywood Reporter)

Zac Efron covers the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter, opening up about his struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, his recent L.A. fight, and the isolating effects of fame.

Efron, who went to rehab last year, cites the whirlwind of Hollywood as his catalyst for spinning out of control. “I was drinking a lot, way too much,” he shares, admitting that drugs played a role as well.

For Efron, 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.”

The actor also says that his substance abuse was a way of coping with his busy schedule, which had “started to become the reason to go anywhere, the reason to talk to anybody… Slowly but surely, I was no longer living in my house. It was just hotel to hotel.”

Efron’s workload even caused him to cut social ties. “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,'” says Efron.

While Efron has come a long way since hitting rock bottom with his addictions — calling himself “happier and healthier than I’ve probably ever been” — he acknowledges that his battle is “a never-ending struggle.”

As for romantic relationships, despite rumors involving his costar Halston Sage, Efron claims that he is single, noting “the struggles of dating, of falling in love, of searching for love and being there for your friends when they need you.”

Efron also opens up about the wild fight he got into in downtown L.A. in March, explaining that while he and a friend were looking for food, their car ran out of gas, forcing them to pull over.

While were waiting for assistance, says Efron, “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.”

Efron considers the encounter “the most terrifying moment in my life.” Still, Efron is thinking positively about the future, noting, “I’m a human being, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve learned from each one.”

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