Zac Efron Says He Suffered From Depression After Starring in Baywatch

In 2017 Zac Efron starred in Baywatch alongside Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Kelly Rohrbach. In the feature-film reboot, devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Johnson) butts heads with a brash new recruit, as they uncover a criminal plot that threatens the future of the bay. The film wasn’t received well by audiences or critics; however, it made enough at the box office to justify its existence with a $177 million payday.

Unfortunately, Efron admits the film took a toll on both his body and his mind, as he was required to perform rigorous training to get his body right for Baywatch. During an interview with Men’s Health magazine, the 34-year-old actor dove into the process of filming the movie and the lasting effects he experienced far after the cast wrapped shooting.

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“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 requires 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 of body fat.”

The actor continued, discussing the repercussions of the lengths he went to while achieving his Baywatch body.

“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.”

The powerful diuretics, also known as water pills, help the body get rid of water and sodium. Clearly, the actor took it too far to nail his role in Baywatch, which had long-term effects Efron could’ve never planned for.

Zac Efron Committed to Being Healthier

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According to Men’s Health, it took Efron six months before he began to feel like himself again. As a result, the actor has drastically changed his workout routine and diet, including foam-rolling and frequent ice baths. He discusses dropping himself into freezing cold temperatures during his baths, saying, “It’s my favorite part of the day.”

“It’s my favorite part of the day. Before is when it’s most miserable, and when you finally just commit and jump in there. From that point forward, you’ve conquered something deep within you; you do not want to get cold. That’s the simplest philosophy: Anything you don’t want to do, make it a habit.”

Next up for Zac Efron is The Greatest Beer Run Ever, based on the true story of Chickie Donohue, who left New York in 1967 to bring beer to his childhood buddies in the Army while they were fighting in Vietnam. The film stars Russell Crowe, Bill Murray, Kyle Allen, Jake Picking, Will Ropp, and Archie Renaux alongside Efron. Peter Farrelly will write and helm the film, with Brian Hayes Currie and Pete Jones assisting with writing duties. The Greatest Beer Run Ever premieres in theaters and on Apple TV+ later this month, on Sept. 30.