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Zac Efron Reveals How Baywatch Training Sent Him Into Depression

With five years now behind the film, Zac Efron has revealed how his Baywatch training sent him into depression. After getting his start in the entertainment industry early 2000s, Efron rose to fame in the late 2000s for his starring role as Troy Bolton in Disney Channel’s High School Musical franchise. During this time, he also booked notable roles in the musical film Hairspray and the comedy film 17 Again. Since then, Efron has won a Daytime Emmy Award for his Netflix web documentary series Down to Earth with Zac Efron, in addition to being in such films as New Year’s Eve, Neighbors, The Greatest Showman, and Baywatch.


Based on the television series that aired from the late 1980s to early 2000s, Baywatch is an action drama film that follows legendary lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) and his team of lifeguards, as they go undercover to take down a drug lord whose plans threaten the future of the bay. Johnson’s Buchannon teams up with lifeguard recruits and Efron’s Matt Brody, a former Olympian, in the hopes of putting a stop to their plan. Playing a former Olympian turned lifeguard for Baywatch required intense training for Efron, as well as a very restrictive diet, in order to attain a physique accepted in Hollywood.

Related: Where Was Baywatch 2017 Filmed: All LocationsNow, in an interview with Men’s Health, Efron has opened up about how his Baywatch training negatively effected him to the point where he developed insomnia and was sent into depression. The actor also comments on how unattainable his look in the film was, as well as how it took him six months to achieve a sense of normalcy after filming on the set wrapped. Read Efron’s quotes below:

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.”

“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 addition to this reflection, Efron detailed Baywatch‘s training regime, which included an excessive exercise regimen, eating the same three meals daily, and taking diuretics, all while running on just about four hours of sleep per night due to his training and film’s production schedule. He also went on to share how the experience made him rethink his health priorities. No stranger to sharing the harmful effects of this film’s training, Efron has previously said never wants to be in that level of shape again, called his Baywatch look “unrealistic” and not something he wishes to glamorize, as well as detailed the restrictive dieting he put his body through.

Efron has kept to his word, avoiding film roles which require dangerous diet and exercise regimens since Baywatch. While an actor of his renown and past adherence to regimens could’ve easily booked other roles and projects similar to the lifeguard film, he has opted for different experiences, including taking voice roles in Scoob! and the short film Saving Ralph, starring in the sci-fi thriller Firestarter, and now gearing up for the release of his next movie, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, in which he stars as John “Chickie” Donahue, who leaves New York to bring beer to his old friends in the Army while they fight in Vietnam. While audiences await his return to the big screen with the Peter Farrelly comedy, they can revisit the Baywatch movie streaming on Fubo and Paramount+ now.

Source: Men’s Health

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