Zac Efron struggled to be healthy while driving his body fat down to play hunky Olympic swimmer Matt Brody in 2017's Baywatch. The actor told IndieWire that he developed insomnia, felt depressed, and felt terrible and weak all the time while trying to achieve the "perfect" Baywatch body. The now-veteran actor started out as a teen heartthrob, and for years primarily played roles that relied on his good looks, putting him in a position that is widely discussed for women, but less so for men. His new comments, then, are likely to kick off a new wing of a common discourse about the unrealistic expectations Hollywood and popular culture put on celebrities.
He said that not only did he feel unhealthy and unhappy as a result, but he actually felt burned out. Maybe it's for the better -- at least for its stars -- that Baywatch didn't manage to become a franchise like its TV predecessor did.
"I started to develop insomnia, and I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time," Efron told IndieWire. "Something about that experience burned me out. I had a really hard time re-centering. Ultimately they chalked it up to taking way too many diuretics for way too long, and it messed something up."
"That Baywatch look, I don't know if that's really attainable," Efron added. "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, two to three percent body fat."
Baywatch follows devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Johnson) as he butts heads with a brash new recruit (Efron). Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.
The film stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Central Intelligence, San Andreas, Fast & Furious franchise) and Zac Efron (Neighbors, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates). Joining Johnson and Efron are Alexandra Daddario (San Andreas, True Detective), Priyanka Chopra (Quantico), Jon Bass (Big Time in Hollywood, FL, The Newsroom), Kelly Rohrbach (Café Society), Ilfenesh Hadera (Billions), and Hannibal Buress (Daddy's Home, Neighbors).
Baywatch is now streaming on Peacock.