Staying in shape is no small feat in Hollywood. Action movies require you to be lean and ripped in a way that borders on unhealthy. Zac Efron certainly feels like that way about his routine for adventure movie Baywatch.
In an interview with Men’s Health, he explained how his physique for that production left him with mental health issues and other problems that took months to shake. “That Baywatch look, I don’t know if that’s really attainable. There’s just too little water in the skin. Like, it’s fake; it looks CGI’d,” he starts “That required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to achieve. So I don’t need to do that. I much prefer to have an extra two-to-three-percent body fat.”
Between the early mornings and micro-managed diet, he just became exhausted by the thriller movie‘s whole process. “I started to develop insomnia, and I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time.” he states. “Something about that experience burned me out. I had a really hard time recentering. Ultimately they chalked it up to taking way too many diuretics for way too long, and it messed something up.”
In Baywatch, Efron plays Olympic swimmer Matt Brody, who tries to get in with Dwayne Johnson’s extremely dedicated lifeguard, Mitch Buchannon. Having to look like an Olympian who can hang with Johnson required Efron to be particularly lean, to what sounds like a detrimental degree.
Efron says he only felt right again six months after production finished. That’s quite a while to feel out of sorts, especially when you’re already living an intense lifestyle like that of an A-lister. Immediately after, the family movie star, who gained prominence in the High School Musical movies, tried letting himself go, and found that didn’t suit him as much either.
“What if I just say, ‘Fuck it’ and let myself go? So I tried it, and I was successful. And for all the reasons I thought it would be incredible, I was just miserable,” he says. “My body would not feel healthy; I just didn’t feel alive. I felt bogged down and slow.”
Baywatch is streaming on Paramount Plus. You can catch Efron next in upcoming comedy movie the Greatest Beer Run Ever, coming to Apple TV September 30.