Neighbors star Zac Efron raised more than a few eyebrows after getting into a fight on skid row with a homeless man in the middle of the night a few weeks ago — many fans were afraid the actor had relapsed after two recent rehab stints. But the star says he was just looking for a place to eat.
Efron explained how it all went down in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
"I had a friend come pick me up late at night — we were looking for a place downtown to get a bite and catch up," he said. "We were having trouble finding somewhere — a lot of places were closed — and the car ran out of gas off the 110 freeway.
"It was ridiculous. We had to pull over, and I called Uber. A homeless guy, or vagrant, tapped on the driver's-side window. Before I knew it, he [the friend] was out of the car, and they started fighting. I saw that [the homeless man] was carrying some sort of a knife, or shank, and I got out of the car to disarm him. At some point, he dropped the knife, and I got hit pretty hard in the face — and almost instantly the police were there to break up the fight."
Efron said that his newfound sobriety is somewhat tenuous but that AA has saved his life.
"I just started going [to meetings]. And I think it's changed my life. I'm much more comfortable in my own skin. Things are so much easier now," he said, adding that his addiction is a "never-ending struggle.
"I was drinking a lot, way too much," he said, also acknowledging drug use. "It's never one specific thing. I mean, you're in your 20s, single, going through life in Hollywood, you know? Everything is thrown at you. I wouldn't take anything back; I needed to learn everything I did. But it was an interesting journey, to say the least.
"When you have success young and you accept the good things, you have to accept all of it. You have to accept the moments of glory but also a great responsibility. And that responsibility, to some degree, involves being a role model. At the same time, I'm a human being, and I've made a lot of mistakes. I've learned from each one."
See Neighbors, Efron's new flick with Seth Rogen, in theaters May 9, 2014.
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