Zac Efron on Coming Clean About Addiction: "It Was a Weight Off My Chest"
For Zac Efron, coming clean was just as transformative as getting clean. The Neighbors actor, who recently gave a revealing interview to the Hollywood Reporter about his struggle with addiction, told the Today show's Matt Lauer on Monday, May 5, that he feels a sense of relief now that his story is out there.
"You know what, actually, it was a weight off my chest, I think," the 26-year-old High School Musical alum said of the THR interview. "It was great. It was a fantastic time."
Of his stint in rehab and the months preceding it, he added, "It was a rough year. It's kind of funny—you know, Neighbors is such a great sort of icing on the cake for all this. I was able to kind of channel all of that and put it back into this movie. And I feel great," he continued. "I feel really blessed to be here working with this group of guys. I don't know—it couldn't be better right now."
Costar Dave Franco (James Franco's younger brother) agreed, saying he thinks this film will be great for his image. "I'm really excited for Zac, just because I know 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 [in]."
As previously reported, Efron secretly completed a brief stint in rehab back in April 2013, for problems with cocaine and alcohol. "I was drinking a lot, way too much," he told THR. "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," he said. "But it was an interesting journey, to say the least."