From the Neighbors movies, Baywatch, and now The Greatest Showman, it seems like Zac Efron is always in a new movie, which means that he's always in our minds. Of course, being a huge High School Musical fan, I've been a fan of ol' Zefron for a decade now, and unlike a lot of my favorites from middle school, he hasn't been disappointing. Most people know him as Troy Bolton and also that guy who always has his shirt off — but nobody's mad about it. There's a lot to Zac that you may not (or may, if you're as big of a fan of him as I am) know. So here are some interesting facts of this multi-talented babe that could be a little interesting, or even surprising.
15 He Didn't Sing In The First 'High School Musical'
If you're a hard core HSM fan like I am, you may have noticed that Troy Bolton's singing voice drastically changes from the first movie to the second movie. You're not hallucinating – it's true that Zac didn't sing the tracks on the first movie, but started singing his own tunes for the second and third ones. When asked about the lip-syncing, he said that he wasn't given a clear reason why Drew Seeley was supposed to sing all of Troy's songs instead of Efron, but as High School Musical got more popular, he managed to sing with his own voice in the later movies. Back in the day Zac said that Seeley has a better voice than he does, but as the years have gone on, we've all seen how good Zac's pipes really are.
14 He Turned Down A Record Deal From Simon Cowell
It's not just me who thinks that Zac Efron's got a nice singing voice — even grumpy singing critic from American Idol, Simon Cowell, thought that he had a good enough voice to make it. Back in the Disney days, Cowell offered Zac a record deal saying that they could "make millions," but he turned it down saying that acting was his top priority. I respect his decision especially since he's been able to do a lot of movies since (and even some singing in musicals and stuff) but I also would like to imagine what his solo career would have been like. Considering that his girlfriend at the time, Vanessa Hudgens, doled out some real bangers like "Say OK" I can only assume that he'd also have some iconic 2000s tracks.
13 He's A Gigantic nerd
One of the biggest myths is that all people who like anime are ugly virgins with no friends, but it turns out that total hotties like Zac Efron are also into Japanese cartoons. His favorites are Bleach, Death Note, Naruto, and Dragonball Z, which are all pretty classic popular anime of the mid-2000s.
I remember back in the day (as I am also an anime fan but a lot less hot and famous) when people were asking for an American version of a live-action Death Note movie and everyone, including Zac himself, wanted him to play the lead of Light Yagami. Their resemblance (mostly with their hair) was uncanny. Unfortunately, in the actual American version of Death Note, we got a Light that looked like the exact opposite of Zac Efron.
12 He Went To Rehab In 2013
There are a lot of stories like this, but it still never stops being sad. In 2013 it was reported that Zac had been to rehab for five months after having a huge party problem that started to affect his work. Like many young stars, the life of constant surveillance by the press is very shocking and hard to deal with. Considering that he was one of the hottest young actors a few years ago, he got a lot of press coverage and paparazzi following him everywhere. No matter where he went—to an event or to the grocery store—there was always someone following him. He took to the party life and started drinking a lot, using drugs, and it got bad enough that he started missing shoots because of it. After his time in rehab, it was said that he's recovered and has stopped partaking in that lifestyle, so it's good to hear that he's back on track.
11 He Likes To Fix Cars
Tell me that I'm just giving in to gender expectations, but there's not much I like more than the idea of a good-looking guy fixing old cars. It might be because of the old movies, but that kind of aesthetic is just...very nice to me. The good news for me, and all of you guys, is that our boy Zac likes to do that very thing. He inherited two old rides from his grandfather, a Delorean and a '65 Mustang, and he made the repairs on them himself. Looking at this picture, it seems like he's done a pretty good job and it's ready to hit the streets again. It's good to know that Zac's got more talents than just singing and acting; he's also a pretty decent mechanic when he's got the time!
10 Tom Cruise Taught Him How To Ride A Motorcycle
After seeing Zac in the movie New Year's Eve, where he's riding around on a Vespa the whole time, we know that he can ride a motorcycle, but prior to that movie this hadn't been the case. He needed to learn for the role, and his teacher ended up being someone unexpected: Tom Cruise of all people. It turns out that one night at a party, Tom went up to Zac and asked him if he knew how to ride a bike. When he said no, Cruise invited him over to his house so that he could teach him. He spent the next day for two hours teaching Zac how to ride a bike just because. It's always funny what can happen when you run into someone at a party, right?
9 He's Crushing On Paula Abdul
Zac's mentioned before that one of his favorite shows in American Idol because he likes the intensity of the performances and the way the contestants have to go through a lot of pressure. He likes the show so much that for a while he was attending the live shows. Sure, it's a pretty entertaining show, but there might be another reason why he was so into the show, and that's his friend and celebrity crush, Paula Abdul. Apparently she gave him a dog tag that he would wear somewhat frequently that says, "Reach for the stars!" on the front and, "You might just become one!" on the back. How adorable is that? Seeing how far Zac has come since his acting debut, he's definitely a star now.
8 He Tried Tinder And It Didn't Work
You heard that right; Zac Efron, shirtless man of our dreams, tried the popular dating app Tinder and fell as flat as I do on it. I mean, I bet he would have gotten so many matches if he wasn't as famous, but everyone thought his account was fake so nobody bothered to swipe on that. I kinda feel that whenever I see a beautiful man on Tinder, it's my first instinct to just swipe left because it's intimidating and I don't know if this person is real or not. Zac has said that dating is hard for him, and since the dating app game isn't working out, I hope that he can find true love one day. I'm always available if you're interested, Zac (wink).
7 He Has Been Acting Since He Was 11 Years Old
Like many actors, Zac has been acting since he was a kid after his father advised him to take on acting projects. Some of his first acting gigs were on shows like Firefly, ER, and The Guardian as guest appearances. The first really big gig he got was as Troy Bolton in High School Musical, though he (nor anyone else) expected that role to be as big as it had gotten. It originally was just supposed to be a standalone movie, but after its popularity, it became the movie franchise we know and love today. It's kind of risky getting into acting at such a young age, and we all know a lot of young actors who ended up having a lot of problems. While he's had a few blips, he's overall turned out pretty alright.
6 He Never Went To College
While Zac was a child actor, he also was a student and actually did pretty well. He graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 2006 and was then accepted into the University of Southern California. Before going off to college like most people, he decided to defer his enrollment to pursue acting. This would be a risky move for most people who might not have anything to fall back on if acting didn't work out, but this move definitely ended up working out for Zac. He's pretty lucky, as well as a hard worker to get where he is today. Sure, his college-less success story is real, but he's kind of one in a million, so keep hitting those books, kids! Because there's nothing more important than a good education!
5 He's Actually Not That Tall
Considering the fact that most of us don't see movie stars in real life, most celebrities seem a lot taller on screen than they are in real life. This is because of camera angles and the fact that pretty much everyone in Hollywood is extremely short, so the height differences are accurate, but just scaled down from normal. While Zac Efron is thought to be one of the main hot guys on the screen nowadays, seeing him in real life might surprise you considering he's only 5'7". That's a whole inch shorter than me! I guess that's tall for Hollywood, but that's pretty short for me, especially since when I see a guy with that many muscles I just assume that they're taller. But that's fine, height isn't something anyone can really control, and it's not like any of us are going to ever meet him anyways.
4 Zac And Vanessa Were One Of The Hottest Couples At The Time
To everyone's chagrin, the real life relationship of Troy and Gabriella did not live on forever like we wanted to. It's not like it's that much of a surprise, though. All of our favorite celebrity couples didn't last. Just look at Justin and Britney, after all. Even so, when Zac and Vanessa were together, they were like the most popular item. They even won the Best TV Chemistry award at the 2006 Teen Choice Awards after their riveting performance in High School Musical. Well, it turns out that the TV chemistry was also real life chemistry so that could also be considered cheating. Too bad their love didn't work out and it seems like it would be hard to convince both of them to co-star in a fourth movie.
3 Fans Made Him Change His Phone Number
It was a rookie mistake on his part, but when Zac first became really famous, his phone number was still listed publicly. He might not have thought of the consequences at first, but quickly realized he had made a mistake at not changing his number sooner. Fans searched for his number, found it, and he ended up getting so many calls from his fans that he was forced to change his number. Most people have enough self-control to realize that movie stars have their own private life that should be respected, but there are other fans that can't help themselves and start bothering the celebrities they love. At least he could easily change his number and stop being bothered, but it's still quite a pain.
2 He Had To Get His Appendix Removed
Appendixes are one of those organs that are only really there to cause problems. If you have one that's healthy, it just sits there and its only purpose seems to be to potentially rupture and then force you to remove it. About 10 or so years ago, right after High School Musical 3 was announced, it was reported that Zac had to go to the hospital to get his appendix removed. That must have been quite a shock and a bummer for that week. It's good that appendix removal is a pretty common and easy procedure to get done, but it must have still been very painful and quite a shock to have his appendix rupture. That does not seem like a great experience and I sure hope I don't have to deal with that.
1 He Was Punk'd! By Hayden Panettiere
Some of Zac's former castmates have said that he was quite a prankster, so the joke was on him when he was the victim on an episode of Punk'd! He was featured on the show twice: the first time was in 2007 where he was pranked by co-star Ashley Tisdale, and the second time was with Hayden Panettiere in 2012. He thought he was going to be arrested for a hit and run. That's the problem with being the resident prankster; it's fun and games until the people close to you want to enact their revenge. It must have been quite a shock for him to think he was getting arrested, but the joke is all in good fun for quality television, right? You better watch your back, Efron!