Zac Efron has adressed the rumours around his dramatic change in appearance. Image: Getty

Actor and singer Zac Efron has tackled those facelift and surgery rumours head on in an interview with Men’s Health this week and perhaps the internet owes him an apology.

To put this into context – last year, in the guts of the pandemic, Efron resurfaced after a period of time out from public appearances and fans noticed that a few things had changed to the visage of their favourite High School Musical star.

Zac Efron 2016. Image: Getty

While Efron has always had the kind of chiselled jawline that could cut glass, the then 33-year-old appeared in a video promoting Earth Day 2021 with a jaw that was dramatically wider, squarer than usual. Yes, our faces change as we get older but this looked dramatically different to his former self.

Queue the rumours that he had succumbed to surgery, plastic or reconstructive, to improve some perceived flaw in his features.

The truth, however, is far more painful and wince-inducing.

Turns out the actor was involved in a serious home accident. In the interview, Efron explains how back in 2013, he slipped while running in his socks through his house. The 34-year-old told journalist Lauren Larson that when he fell his jaw hit the corner of a granite corner of a fountain, knocking him out.

When he came to, and we quote, “his chin bone was hanging off his face”.

The recovery process was the cause behind the changes in facial structure, Efron told Larson. The muscles used for chewing, officially known as the masseter muscles, normally work in tightly wound harmony work with all the other – and many – muscles of the face. After being injured, though, “the muscles on the inside of his face and jaw had to compensate.” Nine years on and Efron says that he is still working with specialists and undergoing physical therapy to repair the damage.

The actor also opened up about the gruelling training regime and toll that filming Baywatch took on his mental health.

While Efron has always been a fit lad, his physique shredding went next level to shoot the boardshorts-only show. To achieve this, Efron was taking diuretics, overtraining and eating the same three meals every day. According to Efron, he began to develop insomnia from the stress.

“I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time,” he explains. “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.”