He is trying to shed an unwanted skin, cleanse himself mentally and physically, purge a past that has come to haunt him.

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There's no question that to receive anything great, like love or respect, or to better yourself, you have to give a piece of yourself away." As he tries to change, he is living an ultrafit life, using weights and a rowing machine, and swimming 20 laps a day. Things are so much easier now." Still, he admits of his battle with addiction, "It's a never-ending struggle." .

He has the type of regimen that makes older men weep -- working out daily, eating healthily and even drinking p H-balanced water from a specially installed alkaline faucet. "On the grand scale of things, he's doing a pretty good job," says Rogen.

"I was drinking a lot, way too much," he says, acknowledging there were drugs, too. I mean, you're in your 20s, single, going through life in Hollywood, you know? I wouldn't take anything back; I needed to learn everything I did.

But it was an interesting journey, to say the least." PHOTOS: Exclusive Portraits of Zac Efron That journey is one well traveled by other young stars, with varying degrees of success -- from Judy Garland to Corey Haim to Lindsay Lohan to Robert Downey Jr.

in 2009 and it has been a sad, dark eight years of deprivation without hearing his glorious vocals and seeing his light feet break it down on screen.

Well, after nearly a decade, the Zac Efron musical drought is FINALLY over with his starring role in Actually, last night Zac shared a little snippet of his rehearsals for one of the movie's numbers called"The Greatest Show." WARNING: The moment you see him singing and dancing for the camera in some sweatpants and a top hat, you're going to get such strong Troy Bolton vibes you'll swear you're watching On top of that, Atlantic Records just released Zac's duet with Zendaya, and it's literally going to make you cry your eyes out.Insiders say Efron took a major pay cut to make the film in exchange for a heftier share of the back end (sources say he can get around million a picture, but he often has cut his salary to do work that challenges him).Since then, he has received a surge of offers based on strong word of mouth about his performance but has opted not to shoot anything."I blurted out: ' Hey, Seth, my name's Zac.I'm an actor, and I just wanted to tell you that I really love your work. "And I was like, ' Yes, I'm 100 percent serious.' And he goes, ' Aw, man, I just wanted to hate you.' And I'm like, ' Seth, I get it.You have to accept the moments of glory but also a great responsibility.