If you cast your mind back to last April, you might recall that several images of Zac Efron went viral across social media after fans noticed that his face looked pretty different.
For those who missed it, Zac attracted attention online after he appeared in Bill Nye’s Earth Day special, and several internet users speculated that he’d altered his face with plastic surgery.
“I refuse to believe this is Zac Efron,” one person tweeted. Another wrote: “Holy shit I can’t believe Zac Efron is Handsome Squidward.”
And while many fans defended the That Awkward Moment star, Zac’s face quickly became the subject of many memes and ongoing mockery.
A year and a half later, Zac ended up addressing the debacle this month, explaining during an interview with Men’s Health that he’d previously been injured in a severe accident that left his jaw completely shattered.
Revealing that he’d slipped while running through his house in socks, Zac said that he hit his chin on a granite fountain and lost consciousness. When he awoke, the actor said that his chin bone was “hanging off” his face.
The incident occurred in 2013 and caused Zac to have his mouth wired shut. He also sustained a gash so deep that it required stitches, per E! News.
And as a result of breaking his jaw, Zac said that his other facial muscles — namely the masseters, which are used for chewing — had to “compensate,” ultimately leading his jaw to look different.
“The masseters just grew,” he said. “They just got really, really big.”
Zac went on to reveal that he’d actually had no idea about the online mockery and plastic surgery rumors until his mother asked if he’d cosmetically altered his face.
Now, a week later, Zac has discussed the incident in further detail, revealing that it was far more severe than some people might have assumed.
Sitting down with Entertainment Tonight ahead of his new movie, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, along with its director, Peter Farrelly, Zac began by explaining that he doesn’t “really give a fuck” about the rumors that he altered his face with surgery.
“My mom told me. I don't really read the internet, so I don’t really give a fuck,” he said during an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
Zac then said that after noticing the “direction” that the rumors were heading, he felt that “maybe it’s time” he spoke out about it, though he maintained that he didn’t feel too compelled to address the whole thing.
However, despite dismissing the entire thing as “funny,” Zac went on to reveal that the accident almost killed him.
“It was funny,” he said, before adding: “It sucks. I almost died, but we're good.”
And jokingly chiming in, Peter quipped that if Zac “were going to get plastic surgery, he wouldn’t get that.”
“There’s just too little water in the skin. Like, it’s fake; it looks CGI’d. And that required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to achieve. So I don’t need to do that. I much prefer to have an extra, you know, 2 to 3 percent body fat,” he said.
And Zac went on to reveal that he even developed insomnia and fell into a “pretty bad depression” as a result of the strenuous training experience.
“I started to develop insomnia,” he said. “I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time. Something about that experience burned me out. I had a really hard time recentering. Ultimately they chalked it up to taking way too many diuretics for way too long, and it messed something up.”