Zac Efron Talks (A Little Bit of) Addiction and Sobriety
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Zac Efron Talks (A Little Bit of) Addiction and Sobriety


Zac efronZac Efron has always vaguely annoyed me for no legit reason whatsoever. Or maybe “annoyed” is the wrong word—it’s been a long day and my brain is tired. But in essence, I’ve always felt somehow dismissive of him. He just seemed like another young, vapid, dime-a-dozen Hollywood pretty boy with a smidgen of acting talent—but not enough to, like, really matter. Like I said, no reason for my assessment. Probably not fair. Definitely not informed.

Damaged is Interesting

Zac started seeming a whole lot more interesting to me, though, when he came out with all of his addiction issues. Is that weird, that I feel such an immediate kinship with people who are, well, f*cked up? Is it weird that as soon as I hear a mention of someone doing something taboo or dealing with something hard or having, like, big-time Life/Emotional Struggles, I immediately seem to start thinking of them as deeper, more interesting people—maybe even people I’d like to hang out with? Whatever, that’s my individual damage and it might not even be that relevant here.

In any case, my feelings about Zac have been revised a bit by this Hollywood Reporter profile, in which he talks about all the Stuff that compounded and contributed to making him who he is: yup, an addict. He was a child star, which never really bodes well for a celebrity’s future. He’s come and gone from rehab a few times, and in March he had a super-embarrassing public scuffle with a homeless “vagrant,” which he describes in an embarrassing way.

More to the Story

Zac comes off as slightly non-forthcoming about certain things—he doesn’t touch on the addiction stuff in much detail, or get into what was really driving him to numb out with substances—but like I said, it made me like him a little more, anyway. He’s started going to AA meetings, he says, and therapy is changing his life. Still, there’s this thread of…talking for the camera or something. He reminds me of Lindsay Lohan—so invested in trying to make us believe these words and then leave them alone to mess up their lives on their own terms. But at least Zac acknowledges the weird reality of his role as a celebrity, saying, “I have to accept the moments of glory but also a great responsibility. And that responsibility, to some degree, involves being a role model.”

See? He might be slightly more fascinating that just another vapid pretty boy (though I can’t say I’d kick him out of bed).

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About Author

Laura Barcella is a documentary researcher, author, freelance writer and ghostwriter from Washington, DC. Her writing has also appeared in TIME, Marie Claire, Salon, Esquire, Elle, Refinery29, AlterNet, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan, The Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out New York, BUST, ELLE Girl, NYLON and Her book credits include Know Your Rights: A Modern Kid's Guide to the American Constitution, Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World, Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, Madonna & Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop and The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About…Before It’s Too Late.