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If you somehow missed a shirtless Zac Efron in Baywatch, the actor played an Olympic swimmer named Matt Brody who went toe-to-toe with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s character in one memorable scene. Which means he was ripped. Excessively ripped. Now while reflecting on the role, Zac Efron actually calls his beach-ready body “stupid” and honestly, there’s a pretty good reason why he feels that way.
It’s not that looking good is “stupid” but the amount of effort and the mental and physical toll it can take on an actor is “stupid.” Speaking during an episode of the popular series Hot Ones, Zac Efron reflected on the role, getting in shirtless shape and the things he had to think about daily in order to be fit for Baywatch.
That was actually a really important time to do Baywatch. Because I realized when I was done with that movie I don’t ever want to be in that good of shape again. Really. It was so hard. You’re working with almost no wiggle room. You’ve got things like water under your skin you’re worrying about. Making your six-pack into a four-pack. Shit like that that’s just not… it’s just stupid, it’s just not real.
This isn’t the first time Zac Efron has spoken out about his body in Baywatch; he’s previously mentioned his muscle-bound look in the Paramount movie was “unrealistic.” He’s told others being body positive is better than grinding it out and being “big and buff.” But he’s never gotten into such specific details like worrying about water under his skin before.
That imagery really helps me to understand what he worked at as well as his prior feelings on the matter. Meanwhile, he said on Hot Ones he really doesn’t want to be in “that good of shape again,” but (and yes I may have slipped and typed “butt” originally) it doesn’t sound like Zac Efron is necessarily closing the book on the possibility of getting fit for a role again either.
Like I’m happy that it worked. I’m happy that it got me through it. I may do it again if it was something worthwhile but let’s wait’ til it gets to that. I’m good. Take care of your heart. Take care of your brain. I’m good.
In fact, however, there are plenty of other kinds of movie transformations. Zac Efron notably switched his hair up pretty insanely for The Beach Bum, using a panini as inspiration for the look. (I know it sounds like I’m making that up. I’m not.)
These days the actor is a much more manageable level of fit.
Zac Efron is next set to star in Killing Zac Efron, a TV series set for Quibi that will follow the actor falling off the grid and surviving in Papua New Guinea. We also know he was hospitalized during the making of that production, so it should be an interesting one to watch streaming.