Zac Efron is now one of the most recognizable male actors on the globe. He's somebody who shot straight into the spotlight from a young age thanks to his time in High School Musical and has enjoyed riding the wave of success ever since. Doing his all to break away from being typecast as the all-singing, all-dancing young adult, he's made a name for himself in the world of comedy, and will even be starring in a Hollywood blockbuster as one of the world's most infamous men, Ted Bundy.
Now at 30 years old (yes, 30!), he's a real man of the entertainment business and has gone through one of the biggest transformations since his days on the Disney Channel of recent memory. Always a pretty boy, but now one with layers of muscle, you'd be forgiven for thinking he was a bit of a square, with not too many exciting facts to know about him.
What you may not know however is that through Efron's 30 years, there have been some tremendous ups, but also some tragic downs. Here, we've decided to take a look at 22 Secrets You Didn't Know About Zac Efron, and guarantee that you won't be looking at the heartthrob in the same way once you're through with the list!
22 Lip Syncing Extravaganza
You may have thought you were being treated to the sultry tones of Zac Efron himself during the first High School Musical movie, but it was actually Drew Seeley who was behind the microphone! Reports suggest that it was Zac's inability to hit the high notes in the first film that meant his voice would have to be replaced, but he did manage to work his way back into the vocal booth for the second and third movies in the series. That's why Troy Bolton's voice changed between movies!
What's probably weirder is that Zac did sing a bit in the first movie.
The first line of several songs featured his voice for the first line, before switching over to Seeley. And that wasn't the end of Seeley's experience with the franchise. He starred as Troy in High School Musical: The Concert Tour!
21 A Close Shave
A few years back, Zac would find himself getting into a scuffle with what he described as a vagrant who had picked a fight with one of his closest friends. All the pair wanted to do was grab a bite to eat and catch up, but when his friend found himself being attacked, Zac would play the hero and disarm the antagonist, who brandished a knife.
There was more action here than in some of his movies! Though he was punched in the face during the to-and-fro, and describes the experience as the "most terrifying" he's ever been in, Zac, of course, lived to tell the tale. He may have stopped a much more tragic event from occurring in breaking up the battle; a real-life hero!
20 When Private Becomes Personal
Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens' relationship was under scrutiny from the minute the pair went public. Seeing their chemistry on screen during their time in High School Musical turn into a real-life connection turned into one of the biggest media stories of the time.
But things didn't always go well for the lovestruck couple.
Though Zac is somebody who says he's never taken pictures for his significant other, he is said to have been on the receiving end of what were meant to be private pictures from Vanessa during their time together. Unfortunately for Vanessa, somebody hacked the photographs from their safe place and published them on the internet for the world to see. It's something that still haunts the star to this day, and she's even had the FBI involved. Fortunately, her career hasn't waned and she's still a successful working actress.
19 Christening The Kitchen Counter
Though he doesn't think sending out pictures would be a good idea, Zac has had no trouble in opening up about his love life in past interviews. There was one where he even detailed where he liked to show his love, saying that it's something that should take place "all over your home."
Try shaking that mental image from your mind! Pushed a little further and asked where his favorite place to enjoy some nookie with his significant other might be, he went on to say he was a "big fan of the kitchen table." Coupling all of that information with some of the more adult scenes we've seen Zac engage in on the big screen, and we imagine he's had quite the excitement in his love life!
18 Love For The Royals
You'd think that the answer most famous and wealthy people would give when talking about swapping lives with anybody in the world would be to swap with a "normal" person, but Zac's got other plans in mind. He wants to be the leader of the United Kingdom and the other realms that fall under the Commonwealth, and says he'd swap lives with Queen Elizabeth II if given the opportunity!
Would Zac be up for the challenge?
Living life as a Royal sounds like more work than a full-time job with overtime. The expectations and duties that you have to carry out if you're privileged enough to be born into the family are said to be some of the most consuming that any unit in the world has to offer. You even have to undergo intense training on a number of levels!
17 Personal Makeover
Zac's someone who seemed to enjoy his education as a youngster, as we'll find out a little bit more about further down the list. During fifth grade, however, he made one of the biggest mistakes possible when he picked up a pair of scissors and decided to cut off one of his eyebrows. So what did he do to save himself from embarrassment? He cut his other eyebrow off as well so that his face would remain symmetrical!
Fortunately, later life has seen Zac turn over quite the leaf when it comes to his personal appearance. Buffer than ever and having clearly taken good care of himself, he's put the traumas of his eyebrow-cutting past behind him and won't be making the same mistakes again!
16 No Joy For Syco
At 20, Zac was said to have turned down an offer from music mogul Simon Cowell to join his record label Syco Music. Claiming that the pair would make millions together, Cowell is said to have tried to poach Zac following the success of the High School Musical franchise, but to no avail. Though Zac told Simon he would be the first to know if he did ever want to kick off a career as a musician, that would never come to pass.
Fortunately for fans, he remained in the spotlight!
Zac may have realized that his acting chops were more finely tuned than his vocal ability, especially making the move from into adulthood with all sorts of changes in the body taking place! He recently sang in The Greatest Showman though, so he's still got it.
15 Who Needs An Education?
As we mentioned earlier, Zac did enjoy his education and school life as a youngster, but when he was offered a place at the University of Southern California, it was something he turned down to continue pursuing his career in acting. Fortunately for him, it's something that worked out and the best decision he could have made, but plenty of folk doing something similar would be flushing so many opportunities down the toilet!
Though we won't deny his talent, Zac's also had to have had a lot of luck to be able to make it to where he is today. For every person like Zac who turned down a university offer, there are a million others who did the same and didn't make it.
14 A Major Operation
All the way back in 2008, Zac was rushed to the hospital with a case of appendicitis and had to have his appendix removed - not that you could tell looking at his torso! The operation took place at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, which took the actor into their care a day after Disney announced that he had signed up for the third and final High School Musical film.
The surgery isn't one of the rarest, but it certainly takes someone strong of mind to get through it!
Other A-listers who have undergone the procedure include Jordin Sparks, Bret Michaels, and Ashley Judd. Fortunately, all three of those and our favorite, Mr. Efron himself, were just the right people to power through and reclaim the spotlight after recovery.
13 Not So Footloose
In 2011, a reboot of the fan-favorite classic film Footloose was set to come to the big screen, with Zac Efron in the role of Ren, made famous by Kevin Bacon. Signed up and ready to add yet another musical string to his bow, High School Musical fans across the globe got super excited about watching Efron show off his moves.
Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. Partway into the project, the actor decided that he wanted "a challenge" rather than doing another musical and ceded the role to eventual Ren portrayer, Kenny Wormald. It turned out to be one of the best decisions Zac could have made for his career. Though the film did alright with the critics, it's not something you ever hear heralded as a memorable or brilliant release.
12 The Green Eyed Monster
Though there were plenty of supporters of the relationship shared by Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, the two eventually split up, and the actress has admitted that her jealousy is the reason why. Following High School Musical's success, Zac would often be swamped with fans wherever he would go.
Girls would look at him as if he was theirs for the taking, and that's something that Vanessa would let get to her.
We imagine that sharing any sort of personal relationship in front of the world is hard work. That's only magnified by a hundred when you're a part of one of the biggest franchises around. We don't blame Vanessa for tapping out early, but part of us does wonder what could have been if the two were still together today!
11 Nothing Short Of Perfection
Back to his younger years in school, and Zac is said to have been quite the perfectionist. Hoping to do his best in every aspect of his studies, the actor says he would be "flipping out" if he ever got anything less than an A. Most of us were lucky to even see a single 'A' grade on our report cards!
Still, that attitude is something that clearly changed when the star fell in love with the world of acting, as we read a little further up the list! This isn't the only bit of evidence we have when it comes to Zac being the perfect geek. He's also a big fan of anime and notes some of his favorites as being Death Note, Bleach, and of course, Dragon Ball Z.
10 Swipe Right!
You'd be forgiven for thinking somebody like Zac Efron would be able to find love without the aid of a dating app, but the lure of Tinder is something that even he couldn't escape! The star signed up and set up a profile on the dating service, hoping to swipe right on some beautiful women and find the love of his life.
Unfortunately for Zac, everybody thought he was a fake!
Let's face it, if you came across somebody using Zac's picture on Tinder, you wouldn't think about even giving them a chance. You'd immediately mark them as a fake and move on. Yet if this has happened to you in the past, you'll now forever wonder if you missed out on getting close to the real deal...
9 A Childhood Crush
Zac isn't somebody who's unwilling to talk about his childhood, no matter how embarrassing! Asked about his younger years, the actor opened up about the stars who would adorn his walls, and in one case, his bedroom roof.
With a major crush on Tyra Banks, Zac went out in search of a picture of her he could keep forever, and found it in the Victoria's Secret Catalog that his mother owned! Ripping out a picture of the star, he would stick it to the roof above his bed. Some would call it an unhealthy obsession, but we imagine the behavior is one that's quite common amongst young boys and girls of the same age!
We wonder if he's a big fan of America's Next Top Model?
8 Let's Hope He's Not Method Acting
There have been plenty of stars throughout the years who have had to take on some dark roles in the world of cinema. The late Heath Ledger, for example, went incredibly method before tackling his Oscar-winning role of the Joker in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight movie. What we have to remember about that, however, is that the Joker is a completely fictional character.
When it comes to stars tackling roles where they portray real-life psychopaths, the lines get a little blurred.
This year, Zac has been filming scenes as Ted Bundy for upcoming film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, and it's something he seems to revel in! Taking to social media to show off snaps from behind-the-scenes, the actor is clearly extremely passionate about the project, as he should be.
7 Truth Or Dare?
As is the case for a lot of youngsters, Zac has revealed that his first kiss with a girl came during a game of Truth or Dare. The actor had it made at the time, admitting that the event - which took place in a tree fort - saw him locking lips with a bunch of girls because he was the only guy there! That's probably why he seemed like such a natural when it came time for his big kissing scene in High School Musical.
One of Zac's most recent flicks - The Greatest Showman - saw him kissing Zendaya in a scene that he has credited as his favorite kissing scene of all time. She says it was because of the characters' forbidden love for one another, but we imagine the fact he had to kiss such a stunning fellow star helped things along greatly!
6 No Respect For Boundaries
Though Zac is adamant in his love for both the High School Musical franchise and the cast and crew he met during his time as part of the Disney film trilogy, it is something that brought a lot of distress to the star as well as catapulting him into the spotlight. Some fans were so crazed in their adoration of Zac that they would do anything in their power to get their hands on some private time with him.
That even meant finding and sharing his mobile number!
Realizing he had a major problem on his hands, because of the number of calls he would get from people he had never met before, Zac was forced to change his number at least once. You can still browse the internet today and find old message boards where rabid fans are trying to get ahold of Zac's digit.
Zac has actually been a part of Punk'd on two occasions, but it was the second where he was set up by Hayden Panettiere that really sticks in the mind of those who hear about it. Brought to the verge of tears after being accused of knocking somebody over in his car, Zac was actually put through a lot of emotional trauma being a part of this slow car chase.
MTV is lucky he didn't choose to sue! Though his friend (who was also in on the prank) was the person behind the wheel and almost hit an old woman, who threw a bag of dog waste at the car, when the fake police arrived, he would turn the blame on the actor and say it was all his fault. Zac was even caught on film muttering to himself about this being "how it all ends." Poor guy.
4 One Episode Wonder
When it comes to breaking out as a child star, Zac had a number of opportunities to prove his acting chops. One show that not many people know he was a part of, however, is the cult classic TV series Firefly. Starring in just a single episode of the show, he would play a young version of leading character Simon, and is instantly recognizable in the role, as you can see with the picture above!
It marked his first time on television.
We're sure those working behind-the-scenes on the sci-fi adventure feel happy to have been a part of allowing him the spotlight. If Firefly ever does make its return, it would be fun to see if Zac could make a return as a grown-up version of Simon! That is of course unless Sean Maher would want to return!
3 At Least He's Being Safe
The Lorax saw Zac returning to the child-friendly world of movies, but what went down on the red (or orange) carpet during the world premiere for the film had the actor hit the headlines for one hilarious reason in particular! Reaching out to acknowledge a fan, Zac would inadvertently pull protection out of his pocket and drop it onto the floor for the whole world to see. Cameras flashed and the moment was captured and cemented in pop culture history forever.
Quickly snapping up the item off the floor and sticking it back into his pocket, he smiled and looked at his publicist before covering his face with sunglasses. An embarrassing moment, but one that gave the world a good laugh! At least he's safe.
2 Seeking Help
It's sometimes very hard for us "normal" folk to think about the madness that goes on behind-the-scenes for big stars such as Zac Efron. The actor has however had quite the troubled past, however, despite all of his success, and perhaps even as a product of it. Back in 2013, the actor would go to rehab for several weeks to seek help for an alleged addiction. It's something the star is now very open about, and credits as changing his life.
Unfortunately for big names, this story is a shockingly common one.
The pressures of fame and delivering good content for your fans can prove to sometimes be too much, so celebrities will often go to extreme lengths to feel something different. If that means substances and other similar things, then so be it.
1 One Relapse
Though his time in rehab seemed to help him a lot, Zac is said to have had a major relapse during his time filming the comedy movie Neighbors. Fortunately, he would make the right choices and go back to rehab to seek help once more. Though he'd miss several days of filming, Zac's treatment would prove to be the best thing he could have ever done.
But has he now got his life in order? As far as everybody knows, the actor has been completely sober since entering rehab, and that's something we should all be thankful for! With such a talent to share with the world, he's now got a solid head on his shoulders and the chance to be in the entertainment business for the foreseeable future.