Zac Efron Network

HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COM – Zac Efron is excited about starring in the upcoming Baywatch movie.

“We want to make it badass,” he told Seth Meyers on Tuesday’s Late Night. “That’s what Dwayne [Johnson] wants — he’s so cool, he’s like the coolest dude in the world. I’m gonna have to keep up with that guy!”

The long-developing project will be directed by Seth Gordon and will likely start production in February 2016.

The story centers on a by-the-book and very serious lifeguard (Johnson) who is forced to team up with a young rule-flouting hothead (Efron) in order to save their beach from environmental destruction at the hands of an oil tycoon. Damian Shannon and Mark Swift wrote the most recent draft.

Of the reboot’s plot, the We Are Your Friends actor said, “We want to keep the integrity” while also sharing a new narrative, and “I think we’re finding that combo.”

And he admitted he wasn’t necessarily cast for his personal attachment to the internationally beloved show. “I have vague memories of it being on TV — I remember Pamela Anderson. I can kind of remember David Hasselhoff.” Efron said, laughing with Meyers about the series’ signature slow-motion running.

Bear Grylls and Zac Efron talk about the actor’s sober life after overcoming addiction.

Zac Efron showed off his survival skills by participating in extreme physical challenges on NBC’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls.” But the former Disney Channel actor also opened up about the other kinds of challenges he’s faced recently – battling addiction while navigating Hollywood.

“The challenging part was never the work, that was never it,” Efron, 26, told host Grylls, according to The Wrap.

On the extreme show he may have jumped out of a helicopter, eaten worms and scaled cliffs, but that apparently doesn’t compare to being young, rich and famous in Tinsel Town.

“It was just so quick-it was shocking,” the “High School Musical” actor said of his fame.

Zac Efron describes his addictions as ‘social lubricant’ while navigating Hollywood. The actor ended up in rehab twice last year for undisclosed addictions.

“The social aspects outside of it; everywhere you go (there are press and people watching) … and it can be confusing … and pretty soon you need a social lubricant.”

Efron wound up in rehab twice last year for undisclosed reasons; though it was reported the actor was battling addictions to cocaine and alcohol.

“It got to the point where I was caring less about the work and waiting more for the weekend where I couldn’t wait to go out and let loose and have fun,” he told Grylls.

“When Monday and Tuesday were difficult to get through, I thought, ‘This is bad.’”

But Efron appears to now be serious about sober living.

“I just really never again want to take anything from the outside in to feel … comfortable in my present skin, and that takes a lot of work,” he said. “It’s just meditation and stopping and slowing down your brain.”

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The release of Michael Jackson’s posthumous new album Xscape has brought back a special memory for superfan Zac Efron – he once spoke to the King of Pop at the height of his High School Musical fame.

Efron, who grew up worshipping the Thriller singer, never got the chance to meet him, but they did share an emotional phone chat one time when the actor was dining with Jackson’s director pal Kenny Ortega.

He recalls, “One time I was at dinner in France with the cast of High School Musical 3… and Kenny got a phone call from the other end of the table, and he answers it and he looks at me… and he goes, ‘I got somebody who wants to talk to you… Come here Zac,’ and I grabbed the phone.

“I go, ‘Hello’, and he goes, ‘Who’s this?’ and I said, ‘It’s Zac’, and he goes, ‘This is Michael, hi’.

“I just started crying, I don’t know what to say, my mouth won’t work… I’m just going, ‘I have so much I wanna say (to you). You’re the reason…’ and I start crying. It was a short conversation. He goes, ‘Thank you, thank you…’ and I hang up and handed the phone back to Kenny. Kenny’s like, ‘Wow, you messed that up’.”

However, the young star got the chance to redeem himself moments later when a confused Jackson rang back: “He goes, ‘Wait, is this Zac?’ and I go, ‘Yeah!’ and he goes, ‘Zac, hi, I didn’t know who I was talking to’. I go, ‘You know who I am?’ and he goes, ‘Yes, I love you’. And I’m like, ‘Oh my God, don’t say that to me…! You’re the reason I’m in music, you’re the reason I do what I do, you’ve been the inspiration to me since I was a little boy… I love you’, and I started crying again.

“I had to leave the room, everybody was laughing… and then he started crying… We were both crying for, like, a minute to each other, like, uncontrollably, and then he said, ‘See Zac, dreams really do come true’… I will never forget that.”

Efron, who reveals he drove around Hollywood from audition to audition listening to Jackson’s music when he first started getting acting offers, was one of the first people to pick up a copy of the King of Pop’s new album when it was released on Tuesday (13May14).

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Zac Efron has no regrets about skipping university.

The 26-year-old actor, who shot to fame as a teenager in the ‘High School Musical’ franchise, doesn’t have any qualms about not pursuing a degree because his leap into acting paid off.

He said: “This was my chance. Even on the hardest days of it, with the paparazzi and all of the attention, it’s worth it to be able to be part of the movies.

“When ‘High School Musical’ finished, I saw the potential to continue to act and learn this craft. I’m lucky to be here. That said, I think there’s a lot of things you have to learn on your own and if you’re working, you don’t get to do them. I was suddenly an adult at 17, making adult decisions.”

The ‘Bad Neighbours’ star sought treatment twice last year foralleged alcohol and cocaine addiction and he admits his stints in rehab have made him value life more and scale back on work.

He told Britain’s Glamour magazine: “It’s important to find a balance and all I could do before was work, work, work. I’m more centred now that I’ve been in ages.”

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2014 has been pretty disappointing thus far for comedy, but Nicholas Stoller’s Neighbors is looking to change all that. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, then allow us to refresh your memory. Mr. Stoller is the same man who previously brought us side-splitting comedies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek, two of the funniest films of the last decade. This time around, he’s assembled one hell of a cast to lead the way. With Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Dave Franco all flexing their comedic chops at full strength, the laughs are huge in Neighbors, and they just keep coming.

The film follows Rogen and Byrne as Mac and Kelly Radner, a young couple who have just moved into a new home with their baby daughter. All is peaceful and idyllic in their lives until a frat, led by Efron’s Teddy, moves in next door. In hopes of keeping the peace, so to speak, Mac and Kelly attempt to befriend the young group of boys now living only feet away from them. Their plan works at first, but after the frat parties a bit too hard one night, and Mac is forced to call the cops on them, all hell breaks loose and a war begins between the two households.

Last weekend, the cast of Neighbors arrived in NYC for the film’s press day. While there, we were lucky enough to land an exclusive interview with Rogen, Byrne, Efron, Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jerrod Carmichael, who were all a delight to chat with. They spoke about pushing the envelope with their comedy, crossing boundaries, working with babies on set and much more.

Check it out in the video above and be sure to catch Neighbors when it hits theatres this Friday! We promise that the film will have you in stitches.