Zac Efron has addressed rumors that he has undergone plastic surgery, with the actor revealing that changes to the shape of his jaw were actually the result of an injury.
The High School Musical star, 34, first sparked plastic surgery speculation in April 2021, when he appeared in a clip promoting an Earth Day special featuring Bill Nye. Back then, fans were quick to notice a difference in the texture of Efron’s face, with many wondering if his newly pronounced jaw was the result of cosmetic surgery.
In a new interview with Men’s healthEfron spoke of the viral conversation about his appearance, dubbed “jaw-gate,” where he explained that the change in his face was actually due to an accident that shattered his jaw and the physical therapy that followed the injury.
According to Efron, he shattered his jaw when he slipped while running around his house in socks. The fall, which resulted in him slamming his chin against the granite corner of a fountain, knocked him out, with the actor telling the outlet that when he came to, his “chinbone was hanging off his face”.
As a result of the injury, Efron said the muscles in his jaw and face had to work harder to compensate, which he explained is trying to “mediate” by working with a specialist and doing physical therapy.
However, according to the actor, when he decided to take some time off from his physical therapy, his chewing muscles, which are used for chewing, have “just grown.”
“The masseters just grew,” he said. “They just got really, really big.”
As for whether Efron was aware of the internet speculation about his appearance, the Baywatch star told Men’s health that he had known nothing about “jaw-gate” until he was questioned by his mother, who had called him to ask if he had had plastic surgery.
According to Efron, he had managed to avoid the rumors because he avoids social media, a “survival” tactic that he noted is helpful as a public figure.
“If I cared so much about what other people thought of me, they might think I do,” he said. “I certainly couldn’t do this job.”
Elsewhere in the interview, the 34-year-old spoke candidly about the effort he’s made to change his appearance, with Efron candid about the negative impact the training has had for his 2017 Baywatch physique had on his mental and physical health.
According to the actor, who acknowledged that the “Baywatch “look” is not “really feasible”, preparing for the role required him to take potent diuretics to lose his body weight, in addition to overtraining.
“That Baywatch Look, I don’t know if that’s really feasible. There is simply not enough water in the skin. Like, it’s fake; it looks CGI,” he said. “And that required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to achieve. So I don’t have to do that. I’d much rather have an extra, you know, two to three percent body fat.”
Efron also revealed that, as a result of the toll on his body, he began to develop insomnia and eventually depression.
“I started developing insomnia,” he said. “And I went into a pretty severe depression for a long time. Something about that experience burned me out. I found it very difficult to reboot. In the end, they attributed it to taking way too many diuretics for too long, and it messed something up.
According to Efron, it took six months after filming before he started to feel well again.