Zac Efron shock: Vanessa Hudgens’ ex talked about mental issues after preparing for this role

US actor Zac Efron arrives for the Los Angeles premiere of "The Beach Bum" at the Arclight cinemas on March 28, 2019 in Hollywood. (Photo by Chris Delmas / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Veteran actor Zac Efron discusses a dark period in his life after intense training for THIS role and how it affected him.

Zac Efron rose to prominence as the lead character Troy Bolton in the “High School Musical” trilogy. He later appeared in the musical film “Hairspray” and the comedy film “17 Again.” The 34-year-old actor recently underwent one of the most difficult challenges of his acting career: obtaining the “Baywatch” body.

In an interview for Men’s Health’s October 2022 cover story, Efron opened up about the physical and mental anguish he endured while preparing for his role in the comedy-action film in 2007.

Efron said:

“I started to develop insomnia, and I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time. 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 co-starred with veteran actors Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, and David Hasselhoff. He described the lengths he would go to achieve the “Baywatch” body and his doubts at the time.

Efron explained:

“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. And that required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to achieve. So I don’t need to do that. I much prefer to have an extra, you know, 2 to 3 percent body fat.”

Following the conclusion of “The Greatest Showman,” the actor expressed his disappointment and later took a break from acting while living in Australia. Efron revealed that to cope, he tried to give up his fitness routine but ended up feeling “miserable.”

Through “constructive misery-but more mindfully,” the “Baywatch” star eventually came to terms with his mindset in continuing his fitness journey.

Despite the difficulties, Efron’s efforts may have paid off when the film received several nominations. During the 2017 Teen Choice Awards, the 34-year-old actor was named Choice Movie: Comedy Actor. “Baywatch” also won the Golden Schmoes Award for Best T&A of the Year.