In the new movie Neighbors, Zac Efron plays a hard-partying frat boy. But in real life, Efron has said goodbye to that lifestyle.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Efron opens about his alcohol and drug use. "I was drinking a lot, way too much," he says. "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. I wouldn't take anything back; I needed to learn everything I did. But it was an interesting journey, to say the least."
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The former Disney Channel poster boy, 26, says he started using as his acting career heated up and acting roles started to take over his life. "I was just so deep into my work, it was really the only thing I had," he says. "I clung to it in a way that became a little bit destructive."
Efron checked into rehab last year, and left treatment shortly before shooting began on Neighbors, in which he co-stars with Seth Rogen. "Every single day was more or less a party," he says. "You went into this kind of dream state: You show up, it's dark, and there's a raging party. Drive home, and the sun's up, go to sleep and then get back to set. Glow lights, girls in bikinis, electronic dance music blasting in between takes, people jumping around. It was pretty cool, but it was a lot. It was a lot. It sort of became real."
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However, since rehab, Efron says he's feeling better, thanks in part to AA and therapy. "I just started going," he says. "And I think it's changed my life. I'm much more comfortable in my own skin. Things are so much easier now."
Although Efron says he is now "much happier and healthier than I've probably ever been," he also knows his battle is far from over. "It's a never-ending struggle."
Neighbors hits theaters on May 9. Watch the trailer for Neighbors here.