It’s been a very busy seven years or so for Zachary David Alexander Efron, aka Zac, ever since he burst onto the teen scene in High School Musical back in 2006. Before that big break he was just another good-looking California boy with indisputable talent and supportive parents. Efron was 19 years old when Musical came out to waves of raves from the younger set, though he’d had quite a few other roles leading up to that one.
Now he’s 26 and figures that Bad Neighbors, just released in the UK last week, is the crowning and final episode in the ‘youth’ part of his career. He told a Fox News interviewer this week that he was past that stage in his life – the heavy partying associated with fraternities and pop stars, and the go-to-heck attitude that goes with it. He says, “I knew how to do it right,” but he’s ready for more challenges.
That may have something to do with his stint in rehab last year for alcohol and cocaine abuse; right now he’s into green drinks, literally. He’s drinking his vegetables and cleaning up his act, but he hasn’t lost his sex appeal for a huge fan base, and the fact he’s not on Facebook and said he has no intention of getting on undoubtedly a terrible blow to a lot of would-be ‘friends’.
If you want to follow Zac Efron’s career, it’s quite diverse and sort of confusing since he keeps changing his on-scene persona in the roles he accepts. Certainly he deserves the term ‘versatile’ for his acting credits, starting at the age of 11 and proceeding with hardly a break to his present status as an award-winning young actor in the Rising Stars To Be Watched category.
It all started in Arroyo Grande, where he graduated high school in 2006 after a commendable academic performance even as he performed on the stage at school and with repertory companies. Shows such as Peter Pan, Gypsy, The Music Man, Little Shop of Horrors and other musicals – remember, this guy can sing, too – brought his talents to the attention of the Disney Studios. With High School Musical 1, 11 and 111 and a remake of Hairspray under his belt, he was confirmed as a musical actor.
That wasn’t enough for Zac; he switched gears with two ‘forgettable’ comedies, 17 Again and New Year’s Eve, then switched to more serious, mature roles in Charlie St. Cloud, The Lucky One and Me and Orson Welles. Then another persona change, more or less back to the teen scene with
That Awkward Moment and Bad Neighbors, both released in 2014, Neighbors just last week.
Now for another change of pace and persona, he’s taking on a much heavier and older-seeming role that breaks from all the former images he’s projected so winningly. Efron’s next project, according to the latest reports, is a starring role in The Associate, a legal thriller based on John Grisham’s novel about an attorney who’s being blackmailed.
So far there’s little news about that film; most of the current stories are about his Bad Neighbors portrayal of Teddy Sanders, the obnoxiously charming or charmingly obnoxious co-ringleader in a houseful of Delta Psi party animals. But, he says, he’s ready for the next step. As for Zac’s private life, he has commented that we won’t marry until he’s forty, if then.
That may still be the case, but according to Forbes magazine, Zac has rather dramatically shut the door on one chapter of his life, that of the Hollywood bad boy. At least that’s the way it appears, as he sold his ‘pad’ in the Hollywood Hills, with its infinity pool, heated floors and wall-to-wall windows in one of the most coveted locations.
Only two bedrooms and 2.5 baths but, it went for just over $2.75 million, so he could afford the new $4 million home in Los Feliz. Even so, Hollywood can expect to see a lot more of Zac Efron as he forges ahead in yet another career direction, this time as the beleaguered but indomitable young attorney, no parties allowed.