Zac Efron Recalls Suffering From "Bad Depression" After Baywatch Training

In a cover story interview for Men's Health, Zac Efron recalled the negative effects of his preparation for the 2017 movie Baywatch.

By Corinne Heller Sep 07, 2022 4:21 PMTags
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Zac Efron's intense body prep for Baywatch wasn't great for his psyche.

In a Men's Health October 2022 cover story interview, the 34-year-old recalled the negative effects of his diet and fitness plan for the 2017 movie, in which he showcased his most chiseled physique, competing with Herculean co-star Dwayne Johnson.

"I started to develop insomnia," Efron said, "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."

He added, "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."

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Men's Health reported that six months after the film wrapped, Efron finally began to feel right again, and that after he took a break from acting and lived in Australia during the start of the pandemic, he went the opposite direction.

"What if I just say, 'F--k it' and let myself go?'" the actor said. Efron said he tried it but felt "miserable," "bogged down and slow." He returned to training more mindfully, according to the magazine.

In addition to the mental health challenges he faced after his Baywatch prep, Efron has also suffered several physical injuries over the past few years, including a torn ACL and a broken wrist. He also talked to Men's Health about shattering his jaw after slipping and hitting a fountain while running in socks at home. He said he passed out and woke up to find his chin bone hanging off his face.


In 2021, after appearing in an Earth Day promo video, Efron sparked speculation on social media he had undergone plastic surgery, a topic his mom also asked him about over the phone, per Men's Health. The actor told the outlet that while he underwent physical therapy for his face following his chin injury, his masseter muscles, used for chewing, "just got really, really big."

Efron paid no attention to the comments on social media, a platform he typically avoids. "If I valued what other people thought of me to the extent that they may think I do," he said, "I definitely wouldn't be able to do this work."

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