Zac Efron caused a frenzy when it was revealed he was quarantined in Byron Bay – but the actor seems to have hinted at plans to leave Hollywood permanently for some time.
The 32-year-old, who made a big hit after starring in Disney’s 2006 hit High School Musical, stands alongside wellness guru Darin Olien, who opened up about his struggle to face life in Los Angeles for a new docuseries for Netflix.
In the fourth episode of Down to Earth, in which Zac and Darin visit Sardinia, the Baywatch star tells his friend to ‘leave’ Hollywood, adding that he’s ‘done’ with that lifestyle because it’s ‘not conducive’ “to a” long, happy, mentally healthy life. ”
Trouble in paradise? Zac Efron talked about the difficulties he faces in Hollywood in his new Netflix series Down to Earth
Leave? The 32-year-old admits in the fourth episode of the show that he ‘wants out of Hollywood’ and says he is ‘done’ with that lifestyle
Struggle: “It’s not a place conducive to a long, happy, mentally healthy life,” Zac friend and wellness guru Darin Olien (right) tells of his Los Angeles lifestyle
In the series – believed to be filmed in late 2018 – Zac and Darin explore various health, wellness and food trends around the world – with the episode Sardinia focused on discovering the secrets of a long and healthy life.
During the episode, the duo meet several experts, including two doctors who investigate exactly why people in Sardinia live so long, as well as local centenarians, in an effort to figure out what exactly they can maintain such amazing health.
“I’ve learned so much here, including that the secret to a long, healthy life isn’t just one thing, there are many,” Zac said towards the end of the episode. “An important advantage of this experience is that the local population maintains a low, yet active lifestyle into old age.”
He goes on to explain that the experience has also led him to explore his own lifestyle and explore the changes he could make in his own life to find more happiness.
“I’m definitely looking at my life in a whole new way,” he tells Darin. “I have to leave Hollywood, I’m done. It is not a place conducive to a long, happy, mentally healthy life.
“I love California, I just think that the dense population of people and city life clearly doesn’t lead to many over-100s.”
While Zac also jokes that he has no intention of fleeing Hollywood for good, his decision to escape LA during the coronavirus pandemic in favor of Australia suggests that he may explore alternative living situations that allow him to escape the stress of his current lifestyle .
One of the biggest tensions, Zac revealed earlier in the episode, is the loneliness he experiences due to his celebrity status.
“The nature of being an actor or being out in the open sometimes leads to isolation,” he says – noting that the sense of community and connection he found with the locals is that Sardinia was a world away from his lifestyle in LA.
“I currently have a roommate, but sometimes it’s hard to go out,” he explains. “The sense of camaraderie we’ve had since we’ve been on this trip … we’ve become friends as a crew, and I feel myself getting healthier and happier every day.
‘That sense of community and being around it is very important. I really like how I feel when it’s not part of my life. And it is isolated and it is slow and it is not so happy. ‘
Strict: Zac also opened up about the rigorous diets he had to follow to maintain the perfect Hollywood body, admitting that he went ‘years’ without carbs
Grind: The actor said he didn’t eat any carbs for six months while filming Baywatch, admitting he almost ‘lost his mind’ while following the strict diet
Another particularly difficult aspect of Hollywood life is the pressure to look in a certain way – especially when it comes to preparing for certain roles.
While Zac talks to two doctors about the ideal diet for a long and healthy life, she is shocked to describe the dangers of a high-protein diet and explain how it has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.
The doctors note that the majority of people consume far too much protein during the day, telling Zac and Darin, “The risk of cancer in those with the highest protein intake was four times higher.”
The experts further explain that too much protein causes the body to turn on ‘the mTOR gene’ (mechanistic target of rapamycin) – which the show describes as’ the body’s’ switchboard ‘for the rate of aging, causing cellular control growth in the body.
“When you’re young and growing, you need rapid cell growth,” Zac explains in a commentary. “If you’re past middle age, it’s best to slow down that cellular process, otherwise too much can lead to mutated cells or cancer.”
In other words, those who continue to eat a high-protein diet in their adulthood are at risk of increasing their body’s cellular growth – which in turn can lead to an increased risk of cancer. Or, as Darin puts it, “the accelerator can push almost any age-related illness.”
Stunned by this news, Zac admits that he followed a high-protein, low-carb diet for 10 years on the recommendation of his personal trainers, who said it was the best way to stay in shape.
“Oh my god, I ate so much protein when I … I had a diet completely based on protein for almost ten years of my life,” he reveals.
Later in the episode, Zac lifts the lid on another aspect of his rigorous diet: a total lack of carbohydrates.
While making pasta with a local Sardinian family, Zac explains that the heavy focus on carbohydrates contradicts any healthy eating plan he’s ever followed – especially those given to him by health professionals in the US.
‘The carbohydrates here are made from fresh, natural, locally grown ingredients. No GMOs, no processing and no refinement. It goes against every conventional diet I’ve ever followed, “he notes.
“But it works here. And of course it works very well. ‘
Shock: Zac also explained that he was stunned by his sudden fame after playing in High School Musical in 2006
Changes? Zac, pictured left in Australia in an old photo and right in LA, currently resides in Byron Bay amid the pandemic, with sources saying he’s been there for months
For Zac, giving up carbohydrates was something he found particularly difficult, and he admits that while filming the 2017 Baywatch movie, he almost ‘lost his mind’ because of the incredibly strict diet plan he had to follow.
“I’m so happy to be eating carbohydrates again,” he says, tasting the pasta he helped make.
“I have eaten without carbohydrates for years. When I shot Baywatch I had no carbohydrates for six months, I almost went crazy. You need this, it’s that good.
“I still can’t figure out how this low-carb, low-protein diet is the exact opposite of anything a trainer has ever taught me.”
In another episode of the series, Zac and Darin embark on their journey into New York City, which the Baywatch star says is a very stressful environment for him, and reminds him a lot of LA, especially when it comes to paparazzi.
“When I was young, it was like all those paparazzi were everywhere I went,” he says. “I had to look good, or I got calls from my mom,” You look sloppy, are you okay? ‘
“Of course I felt like getting dressed for a fashion show every day … I was 18.”
For Zac, the sudden glare of the limelight that resulted from his role in High School Musical was incredibly difficult to handle – with the actor admitting he never thought he’d reach such dizzying heights of fame.
“I didn’t think I was going to be great. I only wanted to pay for my studies. I was thrown into a loop … all of a sudden I was on the cover of Tiger Beat, ”he recalls. “The first time, I was like,” Woah. “
“But very quickly – I think faster to me than most people – I knew something was wrong. There is a malfunction in the Matrix. I have not contributed anything to society. I made TV movies. That feeling has crushed me for a long time. ‘
Whether Zac plans to return to LA is not yet known, but the actor enjoyed a lengthy stay in Australia during the pandemic, most of which he spent in Byron Bay, according to Byron Bay.
Despite rumors that Zac was low in Oz weeks ago, the actor was only pictured in Australia last week when he was caught getting into a car in front of a camera at a local cafe.