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Zac Efron Talks About Getting Sober, 'Crossing the Line of Fear'

By May Wilkerson 05/23/16

 “I wouldn't take anything back. I needed to learn everything I did. But it was an interesting journey, to say the least.”

Zac Efron Talks About Getting Sober, 'Crossing the Line of Fear'

Zac Efron has grown up and wised up since getting sober three years ago. In the June issue of Elle, the 28-year-old former Disney star turned Hollywood actor waxes philosophical about how his life and outlook has changed since going to rehab and kicking drugs and alcohol. “What I found is structure,” he said. “That led me to a balance of opposites: You get out of life what you put in.”

Efron, who has been in the spotlight since his teens, said he used to struggle with the pressures of fame and public attention. “There was a moment when my morning routine was, like, Get up and Google yourself,” he told Elle. “But that stopped, dramatically and instantly, probably three years ago. I realized that viewing yourself through other people's pictures is not living your own life.”

This fear of what others might think ultimately got in the way of him being true to himself. “I wasn't really being myself,” he said. “A lot of my hobbies had gone out the window. I couldn't skateboard or surf for fear of being followed. Crossing the line of fear is what leads to greatness.”

Now sober, Efron is crossing the line of fear in every arena of his life, including riding a shark during a recent trip to Hawaii. “I came face to face with a shark,” he said. “I could either turn and try to beat the shark to the boat, or I could look it in the eyes and let it know I'm present and I'm not afraid. It went right past me, and I put my hand out and I actually rode the shark for 10 or 15 seconds.” This may not be the most typical tale of sobriety, but it does prove that anything is possible!

It seems much has changed since 2013, when the star checked into rehab twice. "I was drinking a lot, way too much," he said in a 2014 interview. "It's never one specific thing. I mean, you're in your 20s, single, going through life in Hollywood…everything is thrown at you.” Despite his difficulties, he said he had no regrets: “I wouldn't take anything back; I needed to learn everything I did. But it was an interesting journey, to say the least.” To say the least. 

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.

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