USA Today articles by Andrea Mandell...
Inside Zac Efron's new, sober life:
Drugs, rehab and friends who are "worried about him."
Those are the headlines springing up when one Googles Zac Efron these days. In the past year, the actor, who rose to fame as a teen heartthrob in Disney's High School Musical and has begun to snag adult roles in films like The Paperboy and Parkland, has watched his personal life begin to overshadow his ambitions.
"I went in," he says openly of a stint in rehab last year, and affirms he's clean now. "Today, I'm good."
Does he still drink? "No," says Efron, 26. "I like being completely sober."
As for those "friends" stealing headlines on his behalf, "maybe there are some people who are not my friends anymore, probably?" says Efron, who has shed party-going pals from his inner circle.
"That's my only way to extrapolate from that. Because my parents are stoked. All my roommates are stoked. The people I work with, the people I really care about are so much happier. And I feel so much better, so whoever my 'friends' are who are 'really worried,' I'm sorry."
Efron sends up his image up in the R-rated comedy Neighbors (out May 9) as Teddy, a boldly shirtless, hard-partying fraternity president who begins to terrorize the yuppie couple (Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne) trying to raise their baby next door. One might think it would be difficult to promote a film rooted in debauchery (Teddy hot-boxes an entire frat house in one epic bender), but Efron disagrees.
"If anything I was able to put it somewhere. It's fun to take it too far. In your work and — especially in your work. But it's just the way you grow up, I think," he says. "You learn."
Life after rehab included some major changes. Efron sold his modern house in the Hollywood Hills and moved to Los Feliz, where he lives with his 22-year-old brother, and privacy is an option.
"My other house was all windows," he says. "And we'd have problems with the gate … people would just walk up to the house … and bang on the glass. So I decided it was something I didn't want to have to worry about anymore."
He's also limiting temptation. "Coachella and stuff was going on before the press tour so we did 'NoChella,' " he says with a grin. "We just downloaded all the music on Spotify that was going to be at Coachella. My buddy and I got a Jeep, filled it with camping gear and just drove across the country on Route 66. And just blasted music on the speakers."
Sobriety, he adds, is "a day at a time. I'm in a good spot right now. I feel great."
Zac Efron gets hacked before 'Neighbors' premiere:
How savvy are celeb hackers these days?
The one who hacked Zac Efron on Monday went so far as to steal his personal assistant's identity to reach out to a USA TODAY photographer for official photos.
"Hi I'm Zac's assistant," wrote the ghost hacker, addressing a text personally to a staff photographer. "He was wondering if you can send a copy of the photo shoot you took of him for USA Today. My email is [redacted]."
The only problem – Efron's assistant never sent that e-mail. The bold intrusion is nothing new for the popular actor, who has over 8 million followers on Twitter and a buzzy new comedy, Neighbors (out May 9), on his hands.
"Friends will say, 'Great talk yesterday,'" says Efron. "And I'll go, 'We didn't talk yesterday?'" He shrugs. The hacking is "not every day but it's pretty much constant."
Hackers will go so far as to converse with Efron's parents via text, and reach out to his distant relatives. "(A) whole side of the family I really don't know very well is in constant contact with 'me' and 'friends of mine,'" he says. The result? "I'm not on my phone a lot."
"It's really strange," Efron allows, but he's nevertheless in good spirits, focusing his energy on bringing his bromance with Seth Rogen to Neighbors' frat-tastic premiere in Westwood tonight. "I'm kind of removed from it because if I kept thinking about it, I was going to drive myself crazy."
The film you should see before dating Zac Efron is...:
Think you know everything about Zac Efron? We’ll take that challenge. Presenting five facts about the blue-eyed Neighbors star not yet in your fan file…
1. He’s creative about staying sober.
“Coachella was going on before the (Neighbors) press tour so we did ‘NoChella,’” he told USA TODAY, reflecting on life after a stint in rehab last year. “We just downloaded all the music on Spotify that was going to be at Coachella. My buddy and I got a jeep, filled it with camping gear and just drove across the country on Route 66, and just blasted music on the speakers.”
2. He watches his favorite shows on tiny screens.
“I watch Game of Thrones on my phone,” he says.
3. His parents have had long text conversations with his ghost hacker.
“Friends will say, ‘Great talk yesterday,’” says Efron. “And I’ll go, ‘We didn’t talk yesterday?’” He shrugs. The hacking is “not every day but it’s pretty much constant.”
4. He was never in a frat, but he’s got mad beer pong skills.
Which he does not, ahem, call beirut. On set of Neighbors, “Nobody knew how to play beer pong!” he says. Cue Efron resetting party props. “It was really weird because everyone was freaked out about how much I knew,” he says. “More cups!” he’d holler. ” ‘There’s liquor everywhere! Tons of people! More teams! More balls! Balls everywhere! This is how the game is played.’ “
5. He’s got his own thoughts about kids these days.
Efron: “Some people in my generation haven’t seen The Godfather!”
Study up, ladies.
You may have noticed but I've been sort of spreading out the posts, so some of this I've tweeted about awhile ago but anyway... there are more posts coming lol.