By Sameer Suri and Sharon Mai For Dailymail.Com
16:14 15 Dec 2023, updated 16:17 15 Dec 2023
Zac Efron has bared his soul about his old co-star Matthew Perry, whom he acted with in the 2009 comedy movie 17 Again.
While receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame earlier this week, Zac paid a moving tribute to Matthew, who died in October at the age of 54.
Now, in a new cover interview with Variety, Zac was frank about the fact that Matthew’s ‘passing is affecting me a lot.’
He looked back on the experience of working with the Friends icon and shared: ‘He was in a unique position for me in my career, and in my life.’
The 36-year-old movie star added: ‘I hold the time we shared together really dear. I’ve been thinking about him a lot, every day.’
Reflecting on stardom, he said: ‘It can be incredibly lonely, being an actor and being in the spotlight. It definitely can be isolating.’
Zac’s advice was to build a supportive inner circle, as ‘It’s very important to reach out to friends and foster relationships where you can talk and share stories. I wish in the past couple of years that I had an opportunity to do that with Matthew.’
A few days before Halloween this year, Matthew was found dead in his hot tub at home at the age of 54, reportedly having drowned.
Over the years, Matthew was open about his struggles with drugs and alcohol, but initial toxicology reports revealed he had no meth or fentanyl in his system when he died, and the authorities did not unearth illegal drugs at his house.
He did have prescription drugs at home, including anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication, according to a law enforcement mole who spoke to TMZ.
In his new Variety cover story published Thursday, Zac also candidly discussed how hard he worked for his upcoming film Iron Claw.
Ahead of the premiere of the pro-wrestling biopic, the heartthrob was frank about the intense preparing for the film and admitted he became ‘obsessed.’
‘That necessity to be perfect – it became an obsession,’ he said about working on the movie – which will premiere in theaters on December 22. ‘It was a singular focus for months. And your life goes out the window during prep.’
For his latest project, he told the outlet that he worked out for multiple hours in a day and did volume training in order to gain 15 pounds of muscle.
He also revealed that he would actually wrestle while filming the matches, which lasted seven to 15 minutes long, multiple times a day and consecutive days in a week.
He noted that his intense training helped prepare him for that.
‘I was able to incorporate old-school body-building and Olympic lifting, and really achieved that specific look of pro wrestlers’ he explained, adding it was ‘really hard’.
Efron explained that the physical transformation helped him live in his role but he found himself ‘withdrawing’ just like his character.
‘It was an unforeseen ally,’ he said. ‘Having all that weight on, you don’t feel normal.
‘And the delayed-onset muscle soreness was through the roof,’ he admitted.
‘During preparation, it’s one thing to mange that — you don’t have ot be super social. I found myself withdrawing quite a bit’.
The High School Musical alum said that his perfectionism tendencies often take over and he has to remind himself that ‘life is way too short’.
‘We’re supposed to be having fun,’ he said. ‘I have to remind myself that this should be fun above all else.
‘If being a perfectionist is going to be the thorn in my side from this point on, it’s like, life is way too short.’
From his own experience, he said growing up in the entertainment industry can be difficult and ‘lonely’ because ‘what you’re going through is of very little concern’.
‘The goal is always the next mission, the next movie, making sure everyone else is very happy,’ he added. ‘It can be very lonely at times.’
On that note, he said that he would advise his younger self, who had just filmed High School Musical and rose to fame, ‘to relax’.
He said he would tell himself: ‘It’s not the end of the world.’
James Parker is a UK-based entertainment aficionado who delves into the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. From Hollywood to the West End, he offers readers an insider’s perspective on the world of movies, music, and pop culture.