Zac Efron says Matthew McConaughey was “like a big brother” to him when they worked together.
The 26-year-old starred alongside Matthew in The Paperboy in 2012. Since then, Zac has faced personal demons and had two stints in rehab last year for alcoholism. But the actor revealed the Dallas Buyers Club star was one of the first to help him get his head straight.
“During filming, Matthew and I had a lot of time to talk. We talked about life,” Zac told the UK edition of Glamour magazine. “He got me thinking, because for the past few years, I’ve been so focused on movies and work. I guess I’m compulsive like that. Matthew was the first person to sit me down like a big brother and say, ‘Are you happy? What do you want to do with your life, man?'”
Zac admits he became more work obsessed when he finished filming the High School Musical franchise in 2008. Having to grow up so quickly under intense media and fan attention was a lot for the then-teenager to take.
“When High School Musical finished, I saw the potential to continue to act and learn this craft. I’m lucky to be here,” he said. “That said, I think when you’re young, there’s a lot of things you have to learn on your own, and if you’re working, you don’t get to do them. I was suddenly an adult at 17, making adult decisions.”
While some of those choices may have been the wrong ones, Zac still embraces the films that made him a star.
“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for High School Musical. I love every fan,” he said. “To this day, I sign more High School Musical stuff than anything else. Would I do another? Absolutely.”
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